Treaties Made, Treaties Broken
Kelly wrote that colonization created the condition of poverty on many American Indian reservations today. Many Americans have misperceptions that poverty should not exist on reservations because Native people’s basic needs are taken care of under treaties.
Over 500 treaties were made with American Indian tribes, primarily for land cessations, but 500 treaties were also broken, changed or nullified when it served the government’s interests.
The video below about policies toward the Lakota gives many examples of this, and the practice was not limited to tribes in the Plains. It is also true that some tribes have no treaties and many tribes remain unrecognized as tribes by the federal government; this leaves them without reservation trust land and federal programming. The fact is that many Native American people are suffering and we should all care about that.