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Native Americans
The Sioux Wars



The Sioux Wars
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.32

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    willfulness, determined, overwhelming, wounding, stalemate, ignorance, uprising, heading, tribal, destruction, starvation, regard, federal, cavalry, command, refused
     content words:    First Treaty, Fort Laramie, Civil War, Fetterman Massacre, Missouri River, Black Hills, South Dakota, Lakota Sioux, Chief Sitting Bull, General George Crook


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The Sioux Wars
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The Sioux were the largest, most powerful tribe on the prairie. In the 1850s, settlers began pushing themselves into Sioux territory. The First Treaty of Fort Laramie was supposed to mark the territory of the tribes. The settlers, through ignorance or willfulness, ignored those borders. They slowly ate away at the tribal lands, turning them into farms and destroying the bison herds.
 
2     The government encouraged the destruction of the herds by commercial hunters, who killed as many as they could. Without that meat, the native people would have to stay on the reservations and wait for government handouts.
 
3     During the Civil War, the government was slow sending money to pay for food and other necessities for the Sioux. In 1862 crops failed, and the people were near starvation. The Sioux attacked and took the food that they should have received. In the uprising, they killed more than 800 German immigrants in Minnesota. More than 300 Sioux warriors were tried for the crimes, and 38 were executed. Many of the remaining Sioux fled to the north and west to other relatives and reservations.
 
4     Later, the federal government attempted to build a road through the western Sioux hunting grounds, but the people resisted. A band of Sioux warriors attacked and killed 80 soldiers in the December 1866 Fetterman Massacre. In the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), the government promised that land west of the Missouri River would be kept for the Sioux people.

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