This lack of Indian unity contributed to the losses they suffered at the hands of the white society.
When European settlers began to inhabit the Atlantic Coast, Indians native to that region spread westward—often encroaching on other tribes.
Tribes were divided into “bands,” with each band containing around 500 members, including men, women, and children.
A governing council for each band, along with the tribal chief, served as the authority for members of the tribe.
Present-day Oklahoma became known as “Indian Territory” as additional tribes were relocated to reservations there.
The federal government relocated hundreds of thousands of Indians under the guise of protecting them, when in truth the government’s primary goal was attaining the Indians’ lands.
However, by the mid-nineteenth century, the BIA had shifted its focus to overseeing Indian concentration and relocation.
It aimed to provide reasonable protection to the Indians—however, their lands were still fair game.
Prior to white settlement, Indian tribes stretched from coast to coast across North America.
Spanish explorers introduced horses to the Plains Indians during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which allowed the Indians to cover ground more rapidly and made them nomadic, able to follow their main source of food, clothing, and shelter—the buffalo—along its migratory path.