|Posted by Gilbert Stack on February 8, 2018 at 5:00 AM|
On this day (February in 1887 the Dawes Act was passed. This piece of legislation was supposed to lift Indians out of poverty and encourage their assimilation into the rest of America. Instead of accomplishing this goal it (together with two laws which strengthened the Dawes Act) broke up the tribal governments of the Five Civilized Tribes, allocated portions of the land to each individual member of the tribes and declared 90,000,000 acres of the reservations to be “surplus” to the allotments so they could sell it off to non-Indians. Breaking the tribal governments and selling off the reservation lands were critical steps to dissolving the Indian Territory and creating the state of Oklahoma.