The settlement of the West nearly wiped out the bison and left Native Americans economically impoverished, psychologically demoralized, and culturally endangered. The government took Native American land for the pioneers and moved them to reservations. They also made them be more American and less Native American. As Helen Jackson says in her book, A Century of Dishonor. "The poorer, the more significant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected." The Government and the Pioneers took everything from the Native Americans and left them with nothing. Chief Joseph say in his address, An Indian's View of Indian Affairs. "If I can no go to my own home, let me have a home in some country where my people will not die so fast." The Government moved them to reservations that was in the middle of nowhere and unable to live at.
Helen Hunt Jackson was an activist for Native Americans. She wrote a book called A Century of Dishonor that was published in 1881, that severely criticized the U.S. policy toward Indians and she sent a copy to every member of Congress. In the book contained the quote said by Benjamin Franklin: "Look upon your hands! They are stained with the blood of your relations". She talks about "There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which is has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of the white settlers." "These Indians found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up in the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures on a shore are caught up in a tidal wave." The Native Americans were being defeated and being forced to give up their land and move to reservations.
Chief Joseph was the leader of his people. He went to Washington, D.C., after being captured because he was taking his people home but was stopped by the military.