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Federated Freedom Struggles: Student Created Timelines

Honors Modern Western Civilizations Spring 2021


1492 -  Christopher Columbus lands on a Caribbean Island, believing he reached the East Indies after three months of traveling. He calls the natives he meets “Indians.” On his first day, he orders six natives to be seized as servants. 

1493 - Pope Alexander VI issues a decree which asserts rights to colonize, convert, and enslave the America's and its natives. 

1493- 1550's - Native Americans begin to die from European diseases such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, smallpox, diphtheria, influenza, pneumonia, typhoid, and the common cold. 

April 1513 - The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon lands on continental North America in Florida and makes contact with Native Americans.

1540-1541 -  The Tiguex War ensued. The scouts of the Spanish Coronado Expedition and 12 pueblos of Tiwa (Tiguex) Indians fought in the war along both sides of the Rio Grande in New Mexico. It was the first war between Europeans and Native Americans in the American West.

August 1, 1758 – The first Indian reservation in North America was established by the New Jersey Colonial Assembly.

1785 - The Treaty of Hopewell is signed in Georgia which protects Cherokee Native Americans in the United States and sections off their land.

1790 – The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act is passed, placing nearly all interaction between Indians and non-Indians under federal, established the boundaries of Indian country, protected Indian lands against non-Indian aggression, subjected trading with Indians to federal regulation, and stipulated that injuries against Indians by non-Indians was a federal crime. 

1791- The Treaty of Holston is signed, in which the Cherokee give up all their land outside of the borders previously established.

August 20, 1794 - The Battle of Timbers, the last major battle over Northwest territory between Native Americans and the United States following the Revolutionary War, commences and results in U.S. victory.

March 27, 1814 - Andrew Jackson, with U.S. forces, and Native American allies attack Creek Indians who opposed American expansion and encroachment of their territory in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The Creeks cede more than 20 million acres of land after their loss.

1824 – The Indian Office federal agency (Office of Indian Affairs) was established by the Secretary of War and operated under the administration of the War Department.

May 28, 1830 - President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act. This act gives plots of land west of the Mississippi River to Native American tribes in exchange for land that is taken from them. 

1838 - Since only 2,000 Cherokees have left their land in Georgia to cross the Mississippi River, President Martin Van Buren enlists General Winfield Scott and 7,000 troops to speed up the process by holding them at gunpoint and marching them 1,200 miles. More than 5,000 Cherokee die as a result of the journey. The series of relocations of Native American tribes and their hardships and deaths during the journey would become known as the Trail of Tears. 

1849- The Bureau of Indian Affairs (previously named the Office of Indian Affairs) transferred from the War Department to the newly-created Department of the Interior.    

1851 - Congress passes the Indian Appropriations Act, thus creating the Indian reservation system in which Native Americans aren’t allowed to leave their reservations without permission.

1851- A series of Fort Laramie treaties were signed with the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other Plains tribes defining the extent of their territories and allowing passage across these territories in exchange for payments to the tribes. 

February 28, 1877 – The U.S. Government seized the Black Hills from Lakota Sioux in violation of the Fort Laramie treaty.

February 8, 1887 - President Grover Cleveland signs the Dawes Act, which gives the president the authority to divide up land allotted to Native Americans in reservations to individuals.

June 8, 1906 – The Antiquities Act is passed which declared that Indian bones and objects found on federal land were the property of the United States.

January 29, 1907 - Charles Curtis becomes the first Native American U.S. Senator.

June 2, 1924 - U.S. Congress passes the Indian Citizenship Act, which grants citizenship to all Native Americans born in the territorial limits of the country. Citizenship had been limited previously, depending on what percentage Native American ancestry a person had, whether they were veterans, or, if they were women, whether they were married to a U.S. citizen.

March 4, 1929 – Charles Curtis serves as the first Native American U.S. Vice President under President Herbert Hoover.

1934- US Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act. This new policy sought to protect American Indians from the loss of their lands and provided funds for economic development. It also helped reestablish tribal governments.

1944 – The National Congress of American Indians was established when about 100 Indians met to create the nation’s first large-scale national organization designed to monitor federal policies.

April 11, 1968 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Indian Civil Rights Act which grants Native American tribes many of the benefits included in the Bill of Rights. 

1968- The American Indian Movement (AIM) began to address rising concerns about police brutality, racism, substandard housing, and joblessness in Native communities, not to mention long-held concerns about treaties broken by the U.S. government.

1978- The "Longest Walk" occurs; it was a protest organized by the Red Power Movement. This walk took five months and consisted of several hundred American Indian activists and supporters. These activists walked from San Francisco to Washington D.C. to highlight the forced removal of American Indians from their homelands and draw attention to the continuing problems plaguing Native people.

August 11, 1978-  The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed that promised to “protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise “traditional religions”.

1969 - Activists Began a 19-month Occupation of Alcatraz Island

1970 - Activists Occupy Mount Rushmore

1970 - the first National Day of Mourning Occurs After Speech Censorship

1972 - the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan Arrives in Washington, D.C.

1972 - AIM Opens “Survival Schools”

1972 - Indian Education Act of 1972

1973 - Activists Occupy Wounded Knee

1975 - Protesters Take Over of Bonneville Power Administration

1978 - the Longest Walk Begins

1981 - the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Celebrates the Orme Dam Victory

1992 - the National Coalition of Racism in Sports and Media(NCRMS) was established

2004 - Save the Peaks Coalition was formed to “Protect the Peaks”

2011 - the Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters Launch Massive Campaign

2013 - the Havasupai Tribe Files a Lawsuit to Stop the Operation of a Uranium Mine

2016 - Standing Rock Sioux Oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

December 19, 2009 – President Obama signs Native American Apology Resolution. The resolution consists of the Federal government agreeing to a $3.4 billion settlement with Indians who were swindled out of royalties overseen by the Department of the Interior since 1887.

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