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History of the United States
Native American History

What did the dawes general alottment act grant the Indians?


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April 07, 2014 9:54PM

The Dawes Act of 1887 surveyed native lands, gave to each native over 18 years old 40 acres and the "excess" was given to white settlers or became parks, BLM, National Forests ,or other federal land. The land was not theirs outright becuase they were considered legally "minors" and it was held in trust for 25 years. They were also supposed to get US citizenship. The goal by supporters was: breaking up of tribes as a social unit, encouraging individual initiatives, furthering the progress of native farmers, reducing the cost of native administration, securing parts of the reservations as Indian land, and opening the remainder of the land to white settlers for profit.

Much of the remaining alloted land was lost this way by unscrupulous trustees. The mishandling of these lands and the income from them continued for decades until the court case Cobell v Salazar was settled for 3.4 Billion dollars in 2009.