1. Trace the history of relocation and Indian reservations. In what ways did reservations destroy Native American cultures, and in what ways did reservations foster tribal identities? Be sure to account for patterns of change and consistency over time.
When one hears the word “relocation”, I assume, they think of taking one thing exactly as it was and placing it in a different location, but placing it as it was and with the same resources. Relocation is a loaded term because before the word relocation came about settlers of early America were forcefully pushing native peoples off their homelands; they just didn’t have the term “relocation”. In 1838 Mireau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, “initiated a policy of ethnic cleansing to drive all Indians out of Texas.”1(p. 337). “Ethnic Cleansing” is a pretty extreme way of saying relocation, however, that is the exact idea they were implementing. The evolution of words is constant, being that familiar ideas and policies adopt new identities through the adoption of words. This is important to take into consideration because throughout the history of America and its dealing with Indian peoples many policies and agendas have been recycled through just with a different name, they never really stray far from the core objective. The U.S. evolved these words to masks the further harming of the Indians, which was dependent on the perceptions of the public’s view, but usually without the least bit of consideration for these people of whom it will affect.
The first big step towards the concept of “relocation” was a primitive one. It didn’t take into account where the Indians would end up, just that they would figure it out themselves. The first examples of this: was the Treaty of Lancaster. This was a lengthy and well organized meeting of Indian nations and American/European representatives where a representative of the Onondaga put on a brilliant display of intelligence and articulation of diplomacy. The whole point of the meeting was to come to an agreement over disputes of land claims between colonies and Indian nations including the Iroquois. Though, through trickery, the Iroquois had ceded to the colonies land “from sea to sea”.2(p. 187) This meant land from the Ohio Valley all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Needless to say the Indians involved were disappointed and angered.
The Royal Proclamation was the next advancement in the idea of “relocation.” The Royal Proclamation, made by the British, was an intangible line drawn to separate Indian lands from colonial lands. This was made to please the Indians, but also served as a way to contain and control its own peoples within the colonies. I point this out as a step towards relocation because, one of the first steps is: knowing where something can be moved from and then moved to. When a solid border is made of land that is known, by all parties involved, of whose is whose, then half of the process is accomplished. I mean by this: if the...