The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and the Sioux: Is the United States Honoring the Agreements it Made?

Robert A. Bell

Abstract


The relationship between American Indian Tribes and the United States government is complex relationship. Since the establishment of the new American government there have been 666 treaties penned between the United States and Indian Nations. Each treaty was unique as to what it was asking the tribes to give up and at the same time move the tribes west. By 1851, there was no more moving tribes west and instead of creating a new land cession treaty (real estate contract) a new way to deal with the Sioux had to be developed. The Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868 were written to attempt to assimilate the Sioux by making them become farmers. Over the next twenty one years the U.S. needed more land to be ceded from the Great Sioux Reservation for farming, ranching, and mining. The two Fort Laramie Treaties needed to be changed. Treaty making was declared dead in 1871 by the U.S. government, and now changes had to be enacted by Congress. Using Congressional legislation the United States agreed to provide the Sioux a safe food and water supply. The standoff over Dakota Access Pipeline between Energy Transfer Partners Inc. and the Sioux of Standing Rock is a violation of the modified 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty the United States made through legislation in 1889 The articles in both treaties and the sections of the Congressional Acts that were enacted over 130 years ago are not being followed and the United States needs to provide protection to the water, and food supplies it said it would do for the Sioux.


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References


Ostler, Jeffery. The Lakota, and the Black Hills (New York: Penguin Books, 2010), 38.

Treaty of Fort Laramie 1851, September 17, 1851, Cank Lta (Red Road, Inc.), 1-2


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