Leading up to the Rez

  • Land Owned by Native Americans

    Land Owned by Native Americans
    As of 1820, the Indians owned all of the land west of the Mississippi River. The US government promised that land to them forever. However, that promise would soon be broken.
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    Life Leading up to the Rez

    This is a timeline showing the decline of Native American land ownership through the expansion of the west. Homesteaders, miners, and railroad companies moved onto the land with no regard to the inhabitants. The Native Americans were not able to peacefully exist on the land that was promised to them. There were many violent conflicts and broken treaties. The Native Americans went from owning most of the land west of the Mississippi to small reservations scattered throughout the country.
  • Massacre of Sand Creek

    Massacre of Sand Creek
    The village of and land around Sand Creek was promised to 800 residing Cheyenne Indians in1851, they were attacked for no good reason. When Black Kettle lead his people to a nearby US Army Fort for protection, he raised an American flag as a peace offering. They were all slaughtered the next morning.
  • Peace between the Government and Indians

    Peace between the Government and Indians
    The Federal government sent a representative who met with many nations, including the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Anapaho. This agreement stated that the Native Americans would live on two major reservations. One was in Oklahoma and one was in the Dakotas.
  • Transcontinental Railroad

    Transcontinental Railroad
    By 1869 the first transcontinental railroad was completed. Within 10 years, more railroads were up and a new sport was made: shooting buffalo from train windows. This contributed to the depletion of buffalo herds and the end of the Native Americans' current way of life.
  • Custer's Last Stand

    Custer's Last Stand
    George Custer discovered a small Indian village on the banks of Little Big Horn River. He ordered his troops to attack. Little did he know, he was taking on Sioux and Cheyenne encampment.
  • Gold found in Dakotas

    Gold found in Dakotas
    Gold was discovered on the Nez Perce land in the Dakotas. Demands were made for 90% of the Native American's land. Gold miners wanted to settle on it.
  • Geronimo

    Under Geronimo's leadership, the Apache attacked settlers in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. The US army had been hunting the chief of the Apache for a while. Geronimo surrendered after the army deprived them of their food supply.
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    Land in the west was legally opened for claim under the Homestead Act. The US Government opened 2 million acres of land to any homesteaders. The tribes were again pushed from their land.
  • Wounded Knee Massacre

    Wounded Knee Massacre
    There was a conflict in Wounded Knee, South Dakota between a group of Native Americans and the US army. The army ordered the Indians to surrender their guns. A young Indian's gun went off and the rest of them were cut down.