Dawes Act

(redirected from Dawes Act of 1887)

Dawes Act


General Allotment Act,

1887, passed by the U.S. Congress to provide for the granting of landholdings (allotments, usually 160 acres/65 hectares) to individual Native Americans, replacing communal tribal holdings. Sponsored by U.S. Senator H. L. DawesDawes, Henry Laurens,
1816–1903, U.S. Senator (1875–93), b. Cummington, Mass. He was U.S. district attorney for W Massachusetts (1853–57) and a Republican member of the House of Representatives (1857–75).
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, the aim of the act was to absorb tribe members into the larger national society. Allotments could be sold after a statutory period (25 years), and "surplus" land not allotted was opened to settlers. Within decades following the passage of the act the vast majority of what had been tribal land in the West was in white hands.

The act also established a trust fund to collect and distribute proceeds from oil, mineral, timber, and grazing leases on Native American lands. The failure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to manage this trust fund properly led to legislation and lawsuits in the 1990s and early 2000s to force the government to properly account for the revenues collected.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Dawes Act of 1887 and the reservation system dramatically changed daily life and political dynamics, particularly for the Oglala Lakotas.
Their clan structure, languages and tribal dress gradually fell into disuse by the mid 19 century and then suffered land loss after the Dawes Act of 1887.
The friends' crowning achievement, known variously as the Dawes Act of 1887 or the General Allotment Act, had several primary goals, including:
Under the Dawes Act of 1887, whose policies attacked tribes' cultures and ways, the grandfather and Hart's father became settled farmers.
Obviously, the Dawes Act of 1887 was a potent influence that deeply changed the Hart family's way of life and made their people's communal life and rituals much harder to maintain.
Part IV will further assert that the logic of the Supreme Court in City of Sherrill is inconsistent with the current policy regarding Indian sovereignty as embodied by the Dawes Act of 1887, (18) the federal provision relating to acquisition of Indian lands as codified in 25 U.
74) As discussed below, beyond these informal variances of sovereignty, the federal government has expressly anticipated and allowed for the checkerboarding of Indian and non-Indian territory in both the Dawes Act of 1887 (75) and the acquisition of indian lands provision under 25 U.
It is this thought process that led to the Dawes Act of 1887 as well as a majority of U.
Her study centers on the century starting with the Indian Removal Act of 1830 through the Dawes Act of 1887 that granted reservation land to individual tribesmen, to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 that returned certain land to Indian tribes.