Native Americans And Treaties With The Government

3983 words - 16 pages

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees" Chief Qwatsina’s of the Lakota Tribe. The plain natives, a respectful people, took from the land what they needed and always gave back. The settlers that came thought they were smarter and more advanced than the natives, and viewed the natives as being inferior. In reality it was the exact opposite. It was the settlers that had forgotten that the most basic way of life was the smartest way of life. The settlers were clouded by their “vast knowledge” that they convinced themselves that their way of life was the best and only way of life and that anything less was not acceptable. The natives were a strong people and not easily swayed, but despite there relentless will to fight they, in the end, would lose. Living side by side was not a realistic option for there differences were too vast. Treaties were made and treaties were broken along with the line of trust between the Natives and the government, making a diplomatic solution impossible. The only reason that the government was able to push the Natives off their land was to exterminate the bison. The Native American conflict in textbooks is said to have started at King Philips war, but the conflict really began when the initial settlers made their first encounters with the natives, coming to a conclusion at the end of the Great Sioux war in 1877. The native tribes of the Great Plains (residing from Montana to Colorado and North Dakota to Kansas), and at some level, all of the native tribes for had a very close tie with the part of earth, which provided for their survival. They saw the earth, as there mother and they felt a need to protect her. Making them almost inseparable from their land. In the book Buffalo Jones Forty Years of Adventure written by Charles Jones, Jones describes the Plain Indians as, "The most tenacious of life than any race I have ever encountered."
The Plain Natives consisting primarily of Blackfoot, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, Lakota, saw the bison a sacred animal because it provided almost everything they needed to survive. A good bison kill would weigh about 2,000 pounds, 800 pounds of which was good to eat. The natives could use the bladder and stomach to store water and keep meet fresh, the hides were used as cover for teepees and the various bones as weapons. The Plain Natives believed that the bison were created by the Great Spirit for the soul purpose of keeping their tribes alive, making them cherish the bison as a literal life line. In Jones’s book, Jones depicts his encounter with Chief Big Indian of the Cheyenne tribe. In this way when Jones shows Chief Big Indian where a herd of bison was, Chief Big Indian was ecstatic with excitement, and signaled the rest of his hunters that he had found a herd. Within half an hour, 100 Indians came from miles away...

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