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The Lakota People

             The Lakota people were originally a nomadic/warrior society. They sustained themselves through hunting buffalo, and raiding neighboring peoples. The first major effect the Europeans had on the Lakota happened with the introduction of the horse and the gun. The horse and the gun made nomadic life just that much more viable for these people, it gave them greater mobility, which, in turn helped them become even more adept at combat on the open terrain. Being nomadic, they never had permanent dwellings; they typically lived in tee-pees, or wigwams. Their territory (in par thanks to the introduction of the horse) covered a huge swath of land that sat in the middle of what the United States considered their territory. At first this land was considered useless to the United States. By the time of the Oregon trail, when this land had become of some interest to the United states, the natives of the plains (Lakota, among many others) had started rebounding from the old world epidemics that had wiped out over half of the native peoples living in North America. The Lakota had resumed their hunts, and raiding practices, some times on emigrants traveling through. Also, at the same time as this great emigration to the West, the civil war had just ended, leaving a lot of civil war officers with a lot of soldiers, and no war to fight. With the white man's irrational lust for gold on the eve of exploding in the Lakota territory, the U.S. government realized that they needed to send someone out to the Lakota to sign a treaty. Just as a treaty is about to be signed, the Lakota find some of the large, and largely unaccounted for, Army of the West, had set up a couple forts in the Lakota's back yard. At this point, all treaties were dropped, and Red Cloud's war began. During Red Cloud's war, the Cavalry was forced out of Lakota territory, and the United States government agreed to sign a treaty banning any white people from entering the Lakota territory.

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