The Fort Laramie Treaty, 1851

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  • The Fort Laramie Treaty, 1851
    • government organised a council of Plains Indian tribes to agree to a treaty that would end conflicts between the tribes and guarantee safe access for migrants across Plains Indian lands.
    • Choosing council representative
      • Gov. wanted a chief from each tribe to represent the whole tribe. Plains Indian society didn't work like this. This caused confusion in Plains Indians and frustration for the settlers.
      • Getting representatives from all the tribes.
        • some tribes did not attend - most had no real interest in the council or its decisions.
    • Agreeing boundaries
      • Gov. wanted to pin down precise boundaries to each tribes land. this was not have the Natives used the land.
    • Translation difficulties
      • the treaty was written in English and there weren't enough translators to make sure that the representatives of all the different tribes understood it.
    • Treaty agreements
      • Plains Indians had to:
        • end fighting between the tribes. Allow migrants to travel through their land safely. Permit surveyors from railroad companies to enter their lands safely.
        • allow the Gov to build roads through their lands and construct army posts. Pay compensation if any individual from their tribe broke the Treaty terms.
      • The US Gov would:
        • protect Plains Indians from White Americans. pay the tribes an annuity of %50,000 as long as the Treaty terms were kept.
    • significance of the Treaty
      • undermined the Permanent Indian Frontier in the northern Plains.
        • took the first step towards reservations by delegating land.
      • relationship with Gov lead to dependence for food and supplies.
    • Problems with the treaty
      • each band made their own decisions whether or not to follow the chiefs rule.
      • not all Plain Indians understood what they were signing due to poor translation.
      • The boundaries of the tribe's territories were not seen as meaning anything serious.


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