1776 - 1871 An Indian Treaty primer

A Shoshoni summer camp in the Rocky Mountains
  • The federal government of the United States recognizes 562 sovereign Indian nations within it borders. (click here for more)
  •  230 of the tribes are village groups in Alaska.
  •  There are 322 federally recognized reservations.
  • Between 1778 and 1868, the U.S. govt. negotiated more than 600 treaties with Indian nations.   Of those, 371 were ratified by the U.S. Senate.
  • Between 1789 and 1850 - Indians ceded approximately 450 million acres of land (some under removal) Between 1851 and 1934 -  Indians lost 125,000 million acres of treaty-protected land to homestead acts, executive orders, and unconstitutional takings.
  • Lakota Sioux
  • Treaty making ended with the passage of the Indian Appropriations Act, in 1871.  After that, the government treated with the tribes through congressional agreements, or by executive orders, and statutes. The last treaty was made with the Nez Perze, in 1871.
  • Treaties are protected by Article VI, Clause 2, of the U.S. Constitution, as "the supreme law of the land."