This is our land! You go where you deserve to go, the reservation!
Treaty chief, where do we go?
Indian peace commission in 1867
Here's money, we need the land chief!
Decimation of the Buffalo
How much can we make from this?
The Indians will like this
Following the idea of manifest destiny, the white people believed that the western lands were waiting to be civilized by the white society. As a first step to gain access to Indian territory lands, they created the concentration policy of 1851, which assigned each tribe to different reservations. They were often negotiated by “treaty chiefs” who were unauthorized representatives and were given undesirable lands. This led to many conflicts.
Sand Creek massacre
Protection? What a joke.
After a series of bloody conflicts, the congress established the Indian peace commission in 1867, to compose new and permanent Indian policy. They replaced the concentration policy by recommending to move all plain Indians into 2 large reservations. All these reservations were administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a branch of department responsible for any payments with the Indians. However, these government agents cajoled, bribed, and tricked representatives of Arapaho, Cheyenne, Sioux, and other tribes, increasing conflict between the two.
Haha, we got them!
The tension between the whites and the Indians began to spread from government enforcement to common people, taking it into their own hands. By the 1850s, white people began to kill buffalos at a rapid rate to sell buffalo leather, supply food, and attack the Indians. By 1875, the southern herd of buffalos were virtually exterminated, in 1865 at least 15 million buffaloes were left, and a decade later, a few thousand were left. This left the Indians infuriated as the buffalos were the source of food, supply, and protection for the Indians.
How dare you!
As a result, from the 1850s, Indians resisted against the white civilization invading their territories, however not all indians fought against the whites. The governor of Colorado ugred all friendly Indians to gather at army posts to seek protection. Thus, one Arapaho and Cheyenne band under chief Black Kettle camped near Fort Lyon on sand creek in November 1864. Instead, the army commander of the district viewed this as an opportunity to get back at the Indians. Led by Colonel J.M. Chivington, a group of volunteered militia force massacred 133 people. Although Black Kettle initially escaped the sand creek massacre, he was caught on the Washita River and was killed by colonel George A. Custer in 1868.
Where's Black kettle?!?
The sand creek massacre encouraged white vigilantes to take it upon themselves to kill Indians. Named as the “Indian hunting”, tracking down and killing Indians became somewhat of a sport for the whites. This stemmed from the belief that the Indians can never coexist with the white society. As a result, the population of the Indians in California reduced from 150,00 (pre-civil war) to 30,000 in 1870.
We're gonna make money.
The consistent killing and slaughter, such as the sand creek massacre, eventually led to a temporary, yet needed unification of Indian tribes. George A. Custer, the colonel of the famous seventh cavalry was on its way with 264 members of his regiment to round up and force back Indians to the reservations. However, this helped unite two great leaders, crazy horse and sitting bull, to gather 2,500 warriors, one of the largest Indian armies assembled at one time, and killed all 264 members of the regiment including Custer. This encounter was known as the battle of the Little Bighorn in southern Montana in 1876.