On this day in history, Congress passed the Dawes Act which both forced indigenous peoples to assimilate into a system of private property ownership and effectively stole millions of acres of what should have been treaty-protected lands.
The Dawes Act allowed the government to divide up communally held reservation lands into individual parcels, up to 160 acres for a head of household, according to Wikipedia.
The law’s deceit was that there was plenty of acreage left over after individual allotments were made. The law allowed the government sell off this so-called “surplus” land.
The poster to the right says it all. Continue reading