2. Attempts to solve problems - Problem 1: To calm these fears, in 1851 the U.S. government held a conference with several local Indian tribes and established the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Under this treaty, each Native American tribe accepted a bounded territory, allowed the government to construct roads and forts in this territory and promised not to attack settlers. In return the federal government agreed to honor the boundaries of each tribe’s territory and make annual payments to the Indians. The Native American tribes responded peacefully to the treaty. In fact, the Cheyenne, Sioux, Crow, Arapaho, Assiniboine, Mandan, Gross Venter and Arikara tribes who signed the treaty, even agreed to end the hostilities amongst their tribes in order to accept the terms of the treaty. This solution did not work because this peaceful accord between the U.S. government and the Native American tribes did not last long. After hearing tales of fertile land and a great mineral wealth in the West, the government soon broke their promises established in the Treat of Fort Laramie by allowing thousands of non-Indians to flood into the area.
Problem 2: Because of so many new settlers, the federal government established a policy of restricting Native Americans to reservations. These were small areas of land within a group’s territory that was reserved exclusively for their use. This way they could provide more land to the non-Indian settlers. The U.S. government forced Native Americans to give up their land and move to reservations in exchange for protection from attacks by white settlers. Also the Indians were given a yearly payment that would include money in addition to food, livestock, household goods and farming tools. These reservations were created in an attempt to clear the way for increased U.S. expansion and involvement in the West, as well as to keep the Native Americans separate from the whites in order to reduce the potential for conflict. This solution didn’t work. The Native Americans were very hungry, the land was poor and they didn’t have enough food.
Problem 3: The Dawes General Allotment Act was passed by Congress in 1887 which led to the breakup of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers. This solution didn’t work. This way the problem was only solved for the benefit of the new settlers and not for the Native Americans.