|Paty Jager, author|
by Paty Jager
Copyright © 2012 Paty Jager
Indian tribes were considered “foreign nations” when the European settlers came to America. With that belief in tact, the U.S. Government made treaties and agreements with the tribes as more settlers moved onto the tribes’ land and more conflicts and violence occurred.
More times than not, the treaties benefited the government or settlers over the Indians, giving the tribes uninhabitable land or not following through with their promises. Often the treaties were made in good faith and military or government officials in charge of enforcing the treaty would twist the truth to either inflict revenge on the tribes or gain monetarily.
In 1838 the Federal Government removed the “Five Civilized Tribes,” Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole 800 miles from their homeland to “Indian Territory” in what today is Oklahoma. These peaceful tribes were marched during the cold winter to their new home. This march has been called “Trail of Tears” and over 4,000 Cherokee and an untold number of the other 15,000 herded through the dead of winter died from disease, exposure, and starvation.
By the late 1800s the United States had either signed treaties with all the tribes or forced them onto reservations. Most treaties promised the tribes that for their land and natural resources the government was taking they would not allow settlers on their reservations. The reservations were created by the Federal Government to segregate the Indians from the settlers to help avoid conflict.
Each time the government would make a treaty with a tribe it wasn’t long before they’d want even more of the tribe’s land and would make up a new treaty, making the tribes’ lands smaller and moving tribes together onto reservations.
Most Indians had a hard time adapting to the reservation life and came to despise it. In the treaties, the government agreed to provide food, health care, and other benefits to help the Indians until they were able to raise food and sustain themselves. However, in some cases, the agents or military overseeing the reservations sold the rations sent by the government or pocketed part of the money intended for the supplies. Many Indians died from starvation or disease on the reservations.
The agents and military thought the men were lazy because the women did the work while the men sat around. They didn’t understand that the women were the workers. They were the ones who did the farming and harvesting. The men had always been the hunters and protectors. They no longer had vast areas to hunt or the weapons to protect their families other than sitting around and discussing the problems on the reservation and trying to converse with the Indian agents to get what the government had promised.
Some reservations were run well and the occupants prospered, but some were run by cruel men who gave the Indians disease infected blankets, spoiled meat, and sparse rations.
The Native American population was robbed of their customs and language when they were told to conform to the whiteman’s standards, yet, weren’t given the same freedoms as their counterparts.
Now the tribes are slowly researching and discovering their customs, languages, and their ancestors’ pride that was stripped of them when they were taken from their lands and forced onto reservations.
Paty Jager (website, blog)
To help kick off the release of the third book in my historical paranormal romance trilogy I have a blog tour and contest going.
I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter.
Blog Tour Contest! Each blog stop has a picture of an eagle in the post. Follow the tour and send me the number of different pictures you saw while following the tour. To learn where I’ll be, go to my blog or website. If there is more than one correct entry I’ll draw a winner on May 21st to receive a $25 gift certificate to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon, a handmade custom ereader cover, and chocolate. Send your entry number to:
firstname.lastname@example.org by May 21st.