|Tribes in Nebraska Give Up Lands in Treaties 1854 - 1857
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In the years immediately leading up to the passage of the Homestead Act, there were five separate treaties in which Native American tribes ceded (gave up) land in Nebraska to the U.S. government. Then, in 1854, the Omaha tribe gave up part of their traditional lands in the first of five separate treaties. The Oto and Missouri tribes negotiated the last of four treaties that same year. The Pawnee, Arapaho and Cheyenne all signed treaties in this same short span of time. Actually, these treaties were a part of a much larger pattern of land transfers that set the stage for an explosion of European settlement. In all, there were 18 separate treaties between 1825 and 1892 in Nebraska alone.
In this section, we have two major stories about Native Americans during the settlement period. First, there is the story of how native people met the challenges of living on this plains landscape. And second, there is the story of conflict as more and more people tried to live on the same land.
By 1850, the tribes had seen increasing traffic moving through along the Platte River. The Homestead Act meant that large numbers of immigrants were now going to STAY. What were the relationships among the different tribes and the settlers? Did all the various tribes live together peacefully during this time? Were they free to move about? How did they become confined to reservations? The answers are here in these related stories.