Updated: 1/12/2020
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Storyboard Text

  • Ghost dance / Wounded knee
  • Dawes act of 1887
  • We're not hunters, we're farmers.
  • The unification of Indians was short-lived, resulting in more killing and slaughtering of the Indians. This time, the Indians sought a spiritual awakening, led by prophet Wovoka. This new revival included a mass, and an emotional “ghost dance” which showed visions of white people retreating from Indian lands, and buffalo herds being restored. Though this gave hope for the Indians, the whites saw this as an act of hostility. On December 29, 1890, the new seventh cavalry attempted to round up the cold and starving Sioux at wounded knee, South Dakota. However, a fight broke out leading to the deaths of 40 white soldiers and more than 300 Indians, including women and children.
  • Viewing the Indians as aweak and “vanishing race”, the government implemented the Dawes severalty act of 1887 as a last step to completely take out the Indians from their own land. This gradual elimination of tribal ownership of land was done by giving land to the Indians, for example, 160 acres were given to the head of the family. Although this may sound like a positive act, what the government was trying to do was to assimilate the Indians to the white civilization by making them farmers. This was a huge change for the Indians as hunting, instead of farming, was their way of life. Although this led to continuous conflicts with the Indians, the whites were successfully able to settle in the American West, at the expense of the region’s indigenous people.
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