Native American Tribes were pushed west and given tracks of land reserved for them. These became the reservations we know today. However, the early days were even uglier than today on the reservations. Tribes were used to living mostly with other tribal members, and only the occasional traveler. The problem with reservations, was that they put multiple tribes, including multi-generational enemies in close proximity.
And it went beyond too many people in too small of a place. The federal government outlawed their ways of life. They were no longer allowed to hunt, to migrate with herds, or live as their ancestors had for centuries.
They were dumped in areas and left to try to find a way to survive on the scraps of land that often could bear no food. And certainly not enough for a an entire tribe. Not only did they lose their land, and ways of life, they couldn’t create an existence out of nothing.
Beyond losing these aspects of life, they were not allowed to practice their religions. As many as there were, that was difficult enough. However, for many, they had left the places, as well as the people they held most dear in their spiritual life, far behind when they began the trek to the desolate reservations.
I attempt to share these feelings of leaving all they know behind in my Trails series. Particularly in Trails 2, 5, and 6. The people in Trails 2 are very contemporary, and feel pulled between two worlds. Those in 5 and 6, have known relative peace for generations, although they know they are going to lose the cultures they have built upon the backbones of those who have gone before.
Works Cited: Indian Reservations. Indians.Org.
http://www.indians.org/articles/indian-reservations.html . Access Date: August 31, 2016