In the 1800s, tribal nations and the United Stated entered into many treaties. A treaty is an agreement between two independent nations and is upheld by the U.S. Constitution. A nation is a group a people living under their own independent government. The United States and a tribe are two independent or sovereign nations, just like the United States and Canada are two independent nations. A tribal government runs independently from the United States government.
Treaties between the United States and Tribal Nations
The United States entered into nearly 400 treaties with over one hundred tribal nations from 1778-1871. While each treaty was unique, most involved tribal nations giving the United States land. In exchange, the United States government promised money, farming equipment, supplies, schools and farming experts to the tribal nations. The United States often did not keep these promises.
By the end of the 1800s, the United States owned nearly all of the land that once belonged to tribal nations. Small bits of land were set aside for tribes to live on, but they had to stay on that land. These sections of lands are called reservations. If people from the tribe left the reservations, the United States government threatened to remove them from the land and send them to the west. The land was, and still is, deeply important to the tribes.
Treaties with Michigan’s Tribal Nations
Between 1795 and 1855, Michigan’s Tribal Nations signed many treaties with the United States Government and the State of Michigan. In each of these treaties, tribes kept the right to hunt on the land and fish in the lakes, even if the tribes gave up the land. The United States government then sold the land tosettlers,people who move to a new area. The United States government also sold the land to lumber and mining companies. All the towns, cities, and roads in Michigan were built on lands obtained from treaties with Michigan’s tribal nations.
This map of Michigan shows the lands ceded by Indigenous tribes. Which treaty affected where you live?
What Did I Learn?
List three facts you learned from the story.
List a question (or questions if you have more than one) the story didn’t answer.
The United States entered into nearly 400 treaties with over one hundred tribal nations from 1778-1871. This timeline highlights five major treaties between the United States and Tribal Nations living within Michigan. There are many more treaties than the ones highlighted here.
… Read More
People have been living in Michigan for longer than anyone can remember. Before the French, British and Americans came here in the 1600s and 1700s, Michigan was home to several native tribes. Michigan’s three largest tribes are the Ojibwa, the Odawa and the Potawatomi. They… Read More
The Michigan History Center specifies the subject area of Defining Michigan from 1787 with the creation of the Northwest Territory via the Northwest Ordinance to 1855 after the last of a series of treaties that effectively removed large numbers of Anishnaabic people from Michigan. The… Read More