Posted by: lemmod | May 10, 2010

The Battle of Wabash

Another great victory achieved by American Indians other than Custer’s Last Stand was the Battle of Wabash. Ironically, this battle occurred on my brother’s birthday during November 4th, except that it occurred in 1791. The battle was a part of the Northwest Indian War and was fought between the United States and the Western Confederacy of American Indians. For this battle, the American men of Arthur Saint Clair were located near the headwaters of the Wabash River in present day Ohio while 1,000 American Indians led by Little Turtle and Blue Jacket, waited for them in the woods nearby. Once the American troops left their guns in an attempt to eat their morning meal, the American Indians soon attacked. Overall, the casualty rate of this battle was the highest ever suffered by United States troops to American Indians with a casualty rate of 97.4%. Through this battle alone, about one fourth of the entire U.S army had been wiped out and only 24 men came out unharmed from the battle. With such a defeat on his hands, Arthur St. Clair was forced to resign. The number of men lost to the United States government was simply unacceptable and totaled three times the amount compared to Custer’s Last Stand a little over eighty years later.  Eventually in 1794, the replacement of Arthur St. Clair was able to accomplish what St. Clair had not with a victory over the Indians of the Old Northwest in what came to be known as the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

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Posted by: lemmod | May 10, 2010

The Battle of Little Big Horn

Looking at some American Indian battles, one battle that especially caught my interest was Custer’s Last Stand which was referred to as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. During 1875, the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians were upset about white men continually pushing into their lands of the Black Hills. Finally in 1876, the warrior Sitting Bull led warriors to Montana to fight for their lands. Fighting General Custer, the American Indian forces were large and outnumbered Custer’s troops three to one. While fighting the Indians, Custer made any and all efforts to win including piling up bodies in front of his men to use as walls of protection. This however was not enough and Custer’s troops soon lost the battle. The remaining bodies of Custer’s men were then mutilated and scalped in hopes that mutilated bodies are forced to walk the earth forever instead of ascending to heaven. Custer’s body was a small exception because after his death, he was not wearing a uniform and didn’t have long enough hair for scalping, so the American Indians thought he was innocent and left him alone. This victory was one of the greatest for American Indians since they were able to keep the white men from invading their land and achieve a short peace. Unfortunately, this only lasted for another year and the Sioux were soon defeated and forced outside of the Black Hills.

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Posted by: lemmod | May 10, 2010


There are many noteworthy events in American Indian history, however, not only major events are important but there are numerous historical figures that played a significant role in American Indian history. One famous American Indian who was pretty well known was Sacajawea. Sacajawea was famous for her efforts with Lewis and Clark in an attempt to help lead them to the Pacific Ocean. She was technically not a part of the expedition party and only got involved because of her husband. Her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau was originally brought on the journey of Lewis and Clark to help translate, and he decided it would be best for Sacajawea to come as well to help communicate with any other Indian tribes they may run into. The expedition was a long journey which consisted of many hardships, although, Sacajawea never seemed to complain except for one time near the end of their journey at the Columbia River. During this time, it was reported that a whale had been seen and after traveling a long time to see a monstrous water creature and large waters, Sacajawea was excited to see the whale but did not get to see it since it already died. However, they were able to buy 35 pounds of blubber from people near the skeleton. Eventually, Sacajawea died after the journey except the origin of her death is unknown. Some believe she died in 1813 from a fever, while the Shoshone Indian tribe believes she lived until 1884 where she used the rest of her life to travel west and was buried between her son and sister’s son after her death.

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Posted by: lemmod | May 10, 2010

Dawes Severalty Act

Other than the Trail Of Tears, another event extremely significant in American Indian history was the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887. Unlike the American Indian Removal Act, the Dawes Severalty Act instead tried to force and assimilate American Indians into United States culture. With this act, Indian reservation lands were converted into individual ownership and the land soon became divided. Through this act, American Indians lost any legal standing they had. Also, should any American Indian renounce their tribal land share, they could then be eligible to become an American citizen. By doing this, they would then receive a land grant which gave them either 160 acres of land should one have a family, or 80 acres of land should they be living alone. This act alone severely hurt American Indians throughout the United States and reduced their overall land share. From this act, American Indians who once controlled 138 million acres of land in 1887 were eventually reduced down to 78 million acres by 1900. Finally, in 1934, this policy was reversed by the Indian Reorganization Act. This policy which reversed the Dawes act was beneficial to American Indians and emphasized the importance of American Indian cultural institutions, as well as allowed some lands to be returned to select tribes.

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Posted by: lemmod | May 10, 2010

Trail Of Tears

Although there are numerous American Indian tribes, I wanted to explore some significant events in American Indian history. As I looked for an event which had a large impact on American Indians, I soon came across the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears began in 1830 once congress passed the “Indian Removal Act.” Even though numerous Americans were against this act, it passed anyway and although the Cherokee nation whom it affected tried to fight it, they still had to obey the removal act. Through this act, the Cherokee were forced and removed from their land in Georgia and were ordered to march about 1,000 miles to Oklahoma where they were allowed to resettle. On the march, many American Indians died. With a lack of ways to acquire food and little places to stop at for items or shelter, the journey was extremely dangerous. Men, women, and children alike were all forced to be relocated and make the hike to Oklahoma by foot, horse, or wagon. In total, about 4,000 people died on this long journey and it became known from this as the Trail of Tears. This time in American Indian history is extremely sad for many and only occurred because the United States wanted to expand southward into American Indian Territory. Andrew Jackson, the President passed the American Indian Removal Act and with it, sentenced numerous American Indians to their death.

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Posted by: lemmod | May 5, 2010

The Iroquois

One major American Indian tribe that I have always heard about, but have never known a lot of information on was the Iroquois. Due To this, I began looking for information about the Iroquois online and soon found that there were 5 major tribes which made up the Iroquois confederacy. These five tribes consist of the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, and the Cayuga tribes. However, the Tuscarora soon joined and the confederacy along with Iroquois languages soon rose to six. Throughout the past, the Iroquois had a unique lifestyle. To survive, most Iroquois lived in longhouses which are homes that can be 100 feet long and house as many as 60 people. These houses were wood frame buildings that were then covered with elm bark sheets to be used for siding.  As for weapons, the Iroquois used bows and arrows or spears. Although, to obtain food the Iroquois would often farm and plant corn, beans, or even squash. In regards to transportation, the Iroquois usually traveled by land but sometimes they were able to use canoes for activities like fishing trips. In the winter time, snowshoes or sleds were used to move throughout the snow with ease.  Last, the role of the Iroquois men and women were extremely important in their society. For the roles of society, men were generally responsible for fishing or hunting, trading, and war, while women were put in charge of the land and resources. Today, most Iroquois either reside in New York or Canada.

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Posted by: lemmod | April 27, 2010

The Kickapoo Indians

Examining the Fox Indian tribe previously, I wanted to explore some of the American Indian tribes that were similar to them. One Indian tribe which has a similar language and customs to the Fox are the Kickapoo. The Kickapoo Indian tribe used to live in the Michigan and Ohio area however, they ventured to Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin in order to try to avoid the American and British conflict. Eventually, the Kickapoo were forced into Kansas and Oklahoma once they received pressure to move by the Americans.  For family life, the Kickapoo men were in charge of hunting and sometimes fighting in wars while the women would be in charge of the children, cooking, and farming. In order to carry around their babies, the Kickapoo mothers would often use cradle-boards which went on their backs like a backpack with the child inside. As for housing, the Kickapoo lived in tiny domed shape houses called wickiups which were brush shelters. Another key component of life, transportation, wasn’t cared for too much by the Kickapoo since they were mostly a farming Indian tribe. However, for their long migrations and when animals were finally introduced to them, the Kickapoo became excellent horse riders which they used in their long migrations. Last, in regards to clothing, men wore breechcloth and leggings and porcupine roach during war, while women wore skirts and deerskins during the winter. Today, the Kickapoo can be found in Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, and Kansas.

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Posted by: lemmod | April 21, 2010

North American Indians From Canada: The Innu

One North American Indian tribe that interested me since it was from Canada was the Innu. The Innu generally derived from Quebec or Labrador. They are a very interesting North American Indian group that speak the language of Montagnais or Naskapi. For their living situation, the Innu lived in either lodges or Wigwams. Also, they were very well known for their birch bark canoes and snow shoes in which they used to travel from place to place. In order to get food, another essential requirement of living, the Innu were big game hunters and hunted moose, caribou, or bears. These animals were easiest to hunt since they could track them pretty well in the snow. The weapons used in order to kill the big game were arrows, spears, and knives. Another interesting fact about the Innu is that they often traded with the Cree, Algonquin, and Ojibway Indians. These trades were beneficial to the Innu because they would trade furs for corn or tobacco since they weren’t farmers themselves. Last, the Innu wore clothing that was different depending on gender. Females wore long dresses while men wore breechclout and leggings. Moccasin boots made from white leather were also worn and some clothes such as their coats and leggings were often painted with a red or black design. Today, the Innu live in their territory of the past which they now call Nitassinan.

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Posted by: lemmod | April 14, 2010

Fox Indian Tribe

One American Indian tribe that intrigued me while I was exploring many of them online was the Fox Indian tribe. This American Indian tribe’s name stood out to me for some reason and I began to wonder how they received it. I soon discovered that the Fox Indian tribe received their name after a hunting party told the French they were the ‘red-earth people’ while they were hunting by the Fox River. The tribe however was never really described in a nice way as they were a warlike tribe and neighbors often said they were stingy, thieving, passionate, and quarrelsome. Also, they Fox tribe consisted of polygamists. As for items they used, the Fox tribe had canoes that were made from birch bark and they used spears and clubs for weapons when hunting or fighting. For clothing, the women generally wore wrap around skirts while the males wore breechcloths and leggings. The Fox Indian tribe did not care for shirts too much and ponchos seemed to be fine to wear when the weather was cool. Although, the Fox tribe did care a lot about their hair and women were supposed to have their hair in a long braid or bun while the men had Mohawks or a completely shaved head with a single strand of hair.  In order to live, the Fox was mostly a farming tribe where the women farmed corn, beans, and squash while the men sometimes hunted deer, small game, or buffalo. Overall, the Fox used to live in Michigan and Wisconsin but today they generally reside on reservations in Oklahoma, Iowa, and Kansas.

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Posted by: lemmod | April 7, 2010

Crazy Horse Memorial

Over the summer, my family and I took a vacation to Yellowstone. On the way, however, we stopped in South Dakota and visited the Crazy Horse Memorial. This memorial is the largest mountain carving currently in progress and will become a University when completed. The Crazy Horse Memorial began on June 13, 1948 and was started by Korczak Ziolkowski along with the Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear with the purpose of honoring the culture, tradition, and heritage of North American Indians. In 1982 Korczak died, but his family and construction workers still continue the process today. The reason why Crazy Horse was chosen for a mountain carving is because he was a great hero and as standing Bear claims, the North American Indians want the white man to know that the red man also has great heroes. Specifically, the carving shows Crazy Horse or will show him on a horse pointing onward. This depiction of Crazy Horse derives from a known quote of his when he was asked by a white man who said “Where are your lands now?” with Crazy Horse’s response, “My lands are where my dead lie buried.” Today, the construction still continues along a 219 foot mountain in South Dakota. People can visit the Crazy Horse Memorial and even watch blasts with the price of a small admissions fee. Also, they can enjoy the museum about Crazy Horse and North American Indians and attend other events occurring that day. The memorial is an astonishing sight to behold and I recommend giving it a visit if one happens to be near that region of the country.

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