This Month in Indigenous History

April 25, 2018

April 24, 1802: The State of Georgia cedes its western land to the United States with a proviso that the federal government obtain the title to Indian land as soon as it “can be peaceably obtained on reasonable terms.”

April 25, 1645: Settlers in New Amsterdam, on southern Manhattan Island, gain peace with the Indians after conducting talks with the Mohawks.

April 26, 1906: Difficulty completing tribal rolls and resistance to the allotment process prevent the anticipated demise of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes in Oklahoma, so Congress passes a law indefinitely extending the existence of the tribes and granting the U.S. president power to pick the Cherokee chief.

April 27, 1763: Ottawa Chief Pontiac holds a council with a large group of Ottawa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi, telling them of his plans to attack Fort Detroit and extoling the virtues of the old Indian ways before the arrival of Europeans.

April 28, 2007: The Sand Creek National historic site in Colorado is dedicated to the memory of over 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho who were massacred by a militia led by Colonel John Chivington.

April 29, 1700: Lemoyne d'Iberville visits a Pascagoula village, one day’s walk from the French post at Biloxi. The Pascagoula have been hit hard by disease, but D'Iberville is impressed by the beauty of the Pascagoula women.

April 30, 1961: The Menominee tribe is terminated from its trust status as a federally recognized sovereign Indian tribe. The tribal rolls are closed, all federal services end, and the tax exempt status of their reservation land is eliminated. It will be nearly a decade before the Menominee regain federal recognition from Congress.

May 1, 1945: Singer/songwriter Rita Coolidge, who is of Cherokee descent, is born in Tennessee. She will go on to enjoy a music career spanning three decades and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 from the Native American Music Awards.

May 2, 1871: Indians raid settlements near Fort Seldon, New Mexico. Cavalry troops chase them for 280 miles, but do not catch them.

May 3, 1806: Lewis and Clark meet Nez Perce Chief Weahkoonut.

May 4, 1863: After the Santee Sioux’s defeat in Minnesota, their land is taken and survivors are ordered to a reservation in Dakota Territory on land that can barely support life. The first year, 300 Santee die.

May 5, 1969: N. Scott Momaday, an author of Kiowa descent, becomes the first Native American awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his novel, Made of Dawn.

May 6, 1822: All non-profit government trading houses are closed on or near Indian land. All future trading posts will be commercial enterprises.

May 7, 1999: The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage holds a special grand opening for Alaska Natives. The public grand opening is the next day. The center becomes a gathering place that celebrates the traditions of 11 distinct Alaskan Native cultures.

May 8, 1725: In one of the last battles of Lovewell’s War, the Pigwacket defeat the British at present-day Fryeburg, Maine.

May 9, 1735: The first debate about the “Walking Purchase” of Pennsylvania takes place at Pennsbury. Thomas Penn and James Logan meet with the Delaware chiefs, including Nutimus and Tedyuscung.

May 10, 1832: Settlers start construction of Fort Blue Mounds near present-day Madison, Wisconsin. The fort is intended to protect European settlers from attacks by the Winnebago.

May 11, 1974: The Acting Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs authorizes an election for amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. The amendments are voted in.

May 12, 1879: In the historic trial of Ponca Chief Standing Bear for violating a relocation order, the US Circuit Court for the District of Nebraska rules that “an Indian is a ‘person’ within the meaning of the laws.” Standing Bear is released from custody.

May 13, 1540: Hernando de Soto leaves Cofitachequi (in present-day South Carolina), taking the “Lady of Cofitachequi” with him against her will.

May 14, 1607: Jamestown, Virginia, becomes the first permanent English colony in North America, in the heart of the Powhatan chiefdom. Sick and starving, the colonists depend on the Indians for survival.


Please reload

More from this Author

Archives by Date

Please reload

Archives by Title or Author