Forced removals of Indians from treaty-protected lands - a disastrous and often barbaric policy - was an unlawful abdication of federal trust responsibility under the Indian trust doctrine.
This is the legal
principle, still in place to day, which names the federal
government as guarantor for Indian rights, lands, and
resources. This trust arrangement often puts the
federal government in conflict with states rights advocates who are
chronically jealous of native sovereignty and native owned
A map of Indian lands the
federal government held in trust for western tribes that signed the
treaty at Horse Creek in 1851. U.S. Supreme Court decisions
in the early 1830s designated the federal government as the trustee
for all Indian lands and resources.