Changes to the way of life of the Plains Indians

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  • Changes in the way of life of the Plains Indians
    • The impact of the railroad
      • land grants took from the tribes, reduced grazing land for the buffalo and fences blocked buffalo movement and disrupted hunts.
      • enabled the extermination of the Buffalo by hunters.
      • tribes in the way of the railroad had to sign treaties to move into reservations.
      • triggered conflicts that grew into a war.
    • The cattle industry
      • cattle and Buffalo both ate grass, so as the number of cattle increased, the number of buffalo decreased.
      • some Natives went to work as cowboys while others worked on ranches.
        • took them away from the traditional way of life.
        • they worked for money and were dependent on ranches for employment.
      • some resented those crossing their land for long drives: they attacked. this resulted in protection from the Army who would sometimes attach tribes, making things worse.
    • Gold prospecting
      • murdered Native Americans and forcefully removed tribes to get them away from possible clams to gold.
      • new diseases came from all over the world: devastated Native american populations
      • rapid change to traditional life: schools, churches, stores etc


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