Indian Territory - Relocation and Treaties

Relocation and Treaties

Before the 1871 Indian Appropriations Act much of what was called Indian Territory was a large area in the central part of the United States whose boundaries were set by a number of treaties between the US Government and various indigenous tribes. After 1871, the Federal Government dealt with Indian Tribes through statute; the 1871 Indian Appropriations Act also stated that. “o Indian nation or tribe within the territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation ...”.

The Indian Appropriations Act also made it a federal crime to commit murder, manslaughter, rape, assault with intent to kill, arson, burglary, and larceny within any Territory of the United States. The action was affirmed in 1886 the Supreme Court, in United States v. Kagama, which affirmed that the US Government has Plenary power over all Native American tribes within its borders using the rationalization that “The power of the general government over these remnants of a race once powerful... is necessary to their protection as well as to the safety of those among whom they dwell” While the Government of the United States had previously recognized the Indian Tribes as semi-independent, “it has the right and authority, instead of controlling them by treaties, to govern them by acts of Congress, they being within the geographical limit of the United States... The Indians owe no allegiance to a State within which their reservation may be established, and the State gives them no protection.”

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