Many people are aware of Indian reservations because they go and buy products such as cigarettes from the reservation.
Native Americans have certain legal rights to create businesses and are also tax exempt on some products sold from the reservation.
The history of Indian reservations is a sad chapter in both the Native Americans and United States citizens’ history. There is no one who can dispute that the Native Americans were settled on the land first. This was a major concern for the United States government because there was a huge increase in westward expansion. The discovery of gold and the Homestead Act further fueled the westward expansion.
The combination of the two events created massive wagon trains of settlers moving out west. These settlers not only took the Native Americans land they also started to destroy the environment the Native American Indians loved so dearly.
The only way to get the Native American Indians off the land that the settlers wanted was by force. This caused many shameful moments in US history. One of the most well known was the trail of tears.
As part of the agreement to acquire the Native Americans land the US government set up tracts of land for the Indians to live on called reservations. Native Americans were in some cases not allowed to hunt and fish on the reservations and in turn forced into farming as their many source of food.
The legality of these forced moves are still in question today. Many tribes are fighting in court to get back their ancestral hunting grounds.
The establishment of Indian reservations was done in this author’s opinion illegally and Native Americans should receive their land back as well as compensation for the suffering and use of the land.
As you can imagine the United States government is fighting against the return of Indian lands and want the Native Americans to stay on the reservations.
Joseph Paige © 2006