Indian Policy APUSH


Indian Removal Act


Provided funds to relocate all Eastern tribes.

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia


A group of Cherokee Indians filed a law suit challenging the legality of the Indian Removal Act. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokees, but the decision was ignored by President Jackson.

Federal establishment of reservations

Approx. 1840 - Approx. 1887

The US government established reservations for the purpose of containing and "civilizing" the native peoples who lived there in exchange for "protection."

Kansas and Nebraska Act


In order to make land available for white settlers, the government abolished the northern half of the land designated Indian territory.


Approx. 1860 - Approx. 1879

Many tribes survived by adapting their lives to fit within the new federal Indian policy. The Cheyenne became expert horse trainers. The Navajos sustained themselves on crafts and artisans. The Hopis gained the allegiance of influential whites.

Nez Perce Treaty


An illegally signed treaty that mandated the Nez Perce tribe abandon 6 million acres of land and move to a tiny reservation in Oregon without much compensation.

Nez Perce Wars

1863 - 1877

Battles broke out between local white troops, the US Army, and the Nez Perce tribe as some tried to make their way to the Oregon Reservation and as some tried to rebel against federal policy and aggression. Chief Joseph surrendered in 1877

Colorado troops versus Black Kettle's Cheyenne


This war included the Sand Creek Massacre, the brutal killing and mutilation of 105 Cheyenne. Colorado troops eventually won.

Great Sioux War

1865 - 1867

Chief Red Cloud fought the US Army to a stalemate and forced them to surrender and abandon their forts, which the Sioux burned down.

Medicine Lodge Treaty


Condensed more tribes onto a smaller area of land, causing internal strife.

Treaty of Laramie


As the terms of surrender, the federal government "guaranteed" the Sioux perpetual land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. It was later disregarded by gold seekers.

Board of Indian Commissioners


Congress created this federal board to assimilate tribes into white culture and adjudicate tribal disputes on reservation.s

Congress ends the treaty system


Red River War

1874 - 1875

The Kiowas and Comanches joined with a rebellious Apache faction under the leadership of Geronimo to perform raids on white outposts and attacks on the US Army. The US Army prevailed by cutting off the rebels' food supply. The Indian Wars only officially ended when Geronimo finally surrendered in 1886.

US Army Retaliation for Little Big Horn

1876 - 1877

As a response to their defeat at the hands of native tribes and to the public outcry, the US Army found and dissolved the bands of Little Big Horn veterans, forcing them to surrender. These persecutions ended Sioux leadership of the Indian Wars.

Battle of LIttle Big Horn


Colonel Custer and his troops were wiped out by 3,000 combined Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. The white soldiers became martyrs that incited intense anti Indian fervor.

Helen Jackson publishes: A Century of Dishonor-1881


Reformer Helen Jackson published "A Century of Dishonor" which sympathetically described the plight of native peoples and criticized federal policy.

Dawes Severalty Act


Ended tribal ownership of land in favor of allotting land parcels to individual Indians. Banned expressions of native culture in schools, religion, and economic practices.

Ghost Dance

1888 - 1890

This Sioux religious revival movement emphasized returning to native culture as a backlash against the Dawes Act's goals of assimilation.

Battle of Wounded Knee


US Army massacred hundreds of Sioux involved with the Ghost Dance movement, which they saw as threatening to their social order.