Dakota Indians History: Treaties Essay

2313 words - 9 pages

AmIn 3711 Dakota Culture and History Treaty Summary Paper It is of up most importance that we- being American- learn of the life (and death) this soil we call home has seen. Who lived here prior to myself, and how it was it obtained? Through the scrutiny of the treaties between the Sioux and the United States- beginning with the Pike Treaty of 1805 through the spring of 1863, America's cornerstone and the answer to the previous question is gruesomely reveled. At a conference the first treaty was produced held nine miles up the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling between the United States and the Sioux Indians known as the Pike Treaty of 1805. Pike's ultimate mission was to "establish United States sovereignty..." over land ceded by the Indians (24). More specifically, this treaty vaguely demanded two pieces of land found at the mouth of the St. Croix, and at the intersection of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. Not understanding the white man's ways of business and ownership, the seven Mdewakanton "chiefs" present were left in the dark at the stipulations of the treaty and only two reluctantly signed (Little Crow and Way Ago Enagee). Essentially, the seven "chiefs" spoke for the future of 21,675 Sioux in the cession 100,000 acres appreciated by Pike at $200,000- but no "specific sum was named in the treaty as compensation"(25). The questionable sum was later reduced to a mere $2,000. This first treaty was an eerie premonition as to how the Sioux nation was to be treated in the future by the United States Government- used, abused, and simply discarded as a hindrance to progress. With the advances of the white man more prominent than ever previously experienced, the Sioux found themselves experiencing much hardships and "in search of food of any kind"(49). During the years of 1828-1829 some started to explore the option of agriculture as means for survival. With the goal of "civilization" of the Sioux in mind a treaty was called during the summer of 1830 including the Sioux and several of tribes gathered at Prairie du Chien. "Although the primary purpose of this treaty was to stop raids by the Sioux and the Sacs and Foxes", land was ceded. The Sioux and Sacs both yielded a twenty-mile strip of land- creating a forty-mile wide "neutral strip". Contrary to it's purpose- this neutral strip of land merely escalated tensions between the groups. Those signing included twenty-six Mdewakantons, nine Wahpekutes, two Sissetons, and no Wahpetons. Of those signatures recognizable was found Wabasha, Little Crow, and Big Eagle. The land was compensated for by the government with $2,000 annuity to be paid for during the next ten years in the form of money, merchandises, or animals. They were also to be given $700 worth of agricultural implements, iron and steel, and a blacksmith along with $500 toward and education fund. The annuities actually received by the parties involved were "too small to have much effect, good or bad"(51). ...

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