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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 6: More About the Native Americans of Great Plains

More About the Native Americans of the Great Plains, The Cherokee & The West

Native Americans


Cherokee Indians The material in this power point was attained from Golden Ink 1996/1997-See website


Between 1790 and 1830 the population of Georgia increased six-fold. The western push of the settlers created a problem. Georgians continued to take Native American lands and force them into the frontier. By 1825 the Lower Creek had been completely removed from the state under provisions of the Treaty of Indian Springs. By 1827 the Creek were gone.

The Cherokee Story

Cherokee had long called western Georgia home. The Cherokee Nation continued in their enchanted land until 1828. It was then that the rumored gold, for which De Soto had relentlessly searched, was discovered in the North Georgia mountains.

The Cherokee

The Cherokees in 1828 were not nomadic savages. In fact, they had assimilated many European-style customs, including the wearing of gowns by Cherokee women. They built roads, schools and churches, had a system of representational government, and were farmers and cattle ranchers. A Cherokee alphabet, the "Talking Leaves" was perfected by Sequoyah .

The Indian Removal Act

In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation.


At first the court seemed to rule against the Indians. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Court refused to hear a case extending Georgia's laws on the Cherokee because they did not represent a sovereign nation. In 1832, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee on the same issue in Worcester v. Georgia. In this case Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign, making the removal laws invalid. The Cherokee would have to agree to removal in a treaty. The treaty then would have to be ratified by the Senate.

May 17 1838

General Scott and the United States Army began the invasion of the Cherokee Nation.

The Trail of Tears

In one of the saddest episodes of our brief history, men, women, and children were taken from their land, herded into makeshift forts with minimal facilities and food, then forced to march a thousand miles

The Loss of life

Under the generally indifferent army commanders, human losses for the first groups of Cherokee removed were extremely high. John Ross made an urgent appeal to Scott, requesting that the general let his people lead the tribe west. General Scott agreed. Ross organized the Cherokee into smaller groups and let them move separately through the wilderness so they could forage for food. Although the parties under Ross left in early fall and arrived in Oklahoma during the brutal winter of 1838-39, he significantly reduced the loss of life among his people. About 4000 Cherokee died as a result of the removal. The route they traversed and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").

Material Copyright   1996, 1997 Golden Ink

The Cherokee

In conclusion:
The Cherokee were forced to move from their homes and to march to the west, which was unfamiliar to them and it caused many of them to die along the way. This was a very sad historical moment in American History.

The Plains Indians

The Plains Indians

  • The Native Americans who lived in the Great Plains of the U.S. lived East of the Rocky Mountains - This is the Area between Canada and Texas

  • The land is made of prairies and hills-Summers are hot and winters are cold

The Plains

  • Up until the 1800s-Great herds of Buffalo roamed the Plains

  • The Plains people were mainly hunters but Buffalo was their main hunt-it provided food, shelter and clothing

Plains People

  • The Plains people built Lakota lodges-homes made of logs covered with grasses, sticks and soil-they have fireplaces in the center and the door faces East to see the rising Sun

  • If the people moved they used Travois-or sleds---dogs and horses pulled them


  • The Sioux consisted of three tribes.

  • The Lakota was one of the tribes of the Sioux in the Plains region

  • The Lakota-lived in the Black Hills of the South Dakota area-these were sacred areas for the Sioux

Lakota kids

  • The young boys learned how to hunt and how to touch an enemy without killing him

  • The young girls learned how to sew buffalo hides together, and how to make teepees


  • Teepees are cone shaped tents made by leaning long poles together; which are tied at the top and covered with animal skins

Winter Counts

  • The Lakota had calendars called Winter counts

  • They were circular and they drew pictures of events in the year

  • Example: Plenty of Buffalo meat, Peace with Crows, Cattle in area, Lakota killed by Crow Indians, Europeans come


  • In the 1600s horses were brought to America by Spanish

  • Some wild horses escaped and roamed the land

  • By the 1700s the Plains Indians had tamed the horses and learned to ride them

  • Many people learned to hunt buffalo on the horses-this allowed buffalo to become their way of life


  • The Plains People used every piece of the buffalo

  • Horns were for spoons, cups and toys

  • Bones were used to make tools

  • Tails were used as whips

  • Stomachs were used to carry water

  • The Skin and hides were made into clothes and teepees and rugs

  • The rest was food


  • They had dolls and flutes

  • Also: Luther Standing Bear: Chief of Lakota Said "We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth as wild, to us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery"

Native Americans of the West

People between Alaska & Califonia

Resources of the West

  • The people had Forests, The Ocean, rivers and streams

  • These people did not farm because they could have berries, roots and plants. They fished for Salmon, they had seals, sea lions, whales and clams and shellfish.


  • This was a group of people that lived in Alaska

  • They received most food from the Sea

  • They became wealthy through trade

  • They lived in Plank houses that faced the sea

The Tlingit

  • They made dams and traps.

  • They also made canoes that could travel long distances in war

  • They had potlatchs-these are feasts in which the guests-not the hosts receive gifts

  • They made Totem Poles-these were poles decorated artistically as a means of displaying family crests, stories and celebrations

Native Americans

  • They had respect for others

  • They shared with each other

  • They saw everything as connected

  • They still create things and do what they can to live in harmony

  • We can learn a lot about life, survival, and the history of our country by studying them.