The Great Sioux War of 1876
By 1876, gold had been discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gold was found on Sioux land, and this region was considered sacred to the Lakota Sioux Indians. The he land was to be protected and respected by the United States Army, because of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 18681, but the Army could not keep miners off the Sioux ground, which led to the increase of Sioux grievances towards the Americans; some grievances that are still taken offense to today. These battles and negotiations soon were known at the Great Sioux War of 1876. In 1874, the government had sent out Lieutenant Colonel George Custer to examine the Black Hills. On his expedition, Custer revealed the presence of gold in the area,
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Spotted Tail had also agreed to lead a peace delegation. He successfully got the Minneconjou, Black Shield, Oglala, and a few Northern Cheyenne tribes to surrender. In the early spring on 1877, the military campaigns and diplomatic efforts finally began to show results. A large number of northern bands had begun to surrender, including Crazy Horse4. While many of the Sioux surrendered at various locations along the Missouri River, Sitting Bull5 led a large group across the border into Canada. General Terry tried to persuade them to surrender and return to the States, but they refused. They eventually returned and surrendered when the buffalo depleted in Canada, and trouble surfaced with the native tribes of Canada. The Great Sioux War of 1876 was a series of battles to gain the gold infested land of the Sioux and return it to United States property. As the battles brought the Natives together to stop the U.S. from taking their land and caused many grievances towards the U.S., it also broke them apart. As leaders began to surrender to the Americans without consulting one another, other leaders and natives felt disrespected. The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 became void, so the Americans got what they wanted, but in the process, ruined relationships with the Native Americans that some natives still hold against the United States today.
Endnotes 1. The Fort Laramie Treaty of