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Northwest Ordinance

The ordinance stated that Indians were to be treated with respect and that their property is not to be seized without their permission. Settlers continued to push into Native American territory so the tribes received government protection.


Purchase of Florida

Indians had fled south to Florida to escape American authorities. There the Spanish were powerless to control the Indians where a new tribe was formed called the Seminoles. The Seminoles, comprised of both native Americans and escaped slaves began to raid American settlements and then escape back into Spanish territory. Fearing the loss of their territory without compensation the Spanish sold Florida to the United States whereupon the Seminoles were moved to a reservation in central Florida.


Plains Indians Wars

During this period Americans and plains Indians clashed as Americans attempted to force Indians onto reservations. One of the many battles was the Battle of Little Bighorn, where a regiment of 250 were all killed by approximately 4500 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Another was the battle at Wounded Knee where thousands of Cheyenne men, women and children were slaughtered by the American Cavalry. Wounded Knee represented the end of any real armed resistance on the part of the Native American.


Cherokee Nation vs Georgia

In 1828 the Cherokee, a "civilized" tribe, had found gold on their land. As a result white settlers moved in and the State of Georgia claimed jurisdiction over the Cherokee. The Cherokee sued claiming they were independent from Georgia. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee. Afterwards, the federal government removed the Indians to Oklahoma.


Iroquois Nation vs New York

Claiming they have been using certain lands since 1805 Indians sue and win in federal court. The federal government is forced to be responsive to their treaty claims.


1980's (court cases)

Several Indian nations, most notably in Connecticut and New York, sue to gain autonomy (independence) on tribal reservation land. Indians win these cases paving the way for the creation of gambling operations on reservation land. Today there are casinos on several reservations providing millions of dollars of income for those tribes.