Index | Next

Columbia Press


This Week in Aboriginal History: Indian casinos get nod from U.S. Supreme Court

By Carl A. Ellis, Friday, March 2, 2018

Feb. 23, 1954: Congress votes to withdraw support to Wisconsin Indians that was guaranteed in 1854. Chiefs Oshkosh and Keshena of the Menomonee (people of the wild rice) had formed an agreement with federal Indian agents in 1854 to keep just 275,000 of their original 9.5 million acres in exchange for eternal government protection.

Feb. 24, 1730: With both sides running out of ammunition, French troops and the Natchez Indians reach a peace agreement. The Natchez release all prisoners, and the French withdraw to the Mississippi River. The French had been anxious to make the agreement because their Choctaw allies had expressed a desire to quit the fight. The prisoners are released to the Choctaw, who demand a ransom for their services. The Natchez eventually escape into the woodlands.

Feb. 25, 1987: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in “California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians” that California cannot prohibit tribes from conducting high-stakes bingo and poker games legal elsewhere in the state on tribal land. The landmark decision opens the door to the reservation gambling industry nationwide, and leads to enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Feb. 26, 1757: Fort Augusta, built by Pennsylvania troops at the juncture of several Indian trails on the Susquehanna River, is surrounded and briefly held under siege by Indians. The Indians leave after a few days, but return a few months later.

Feb. 27, 1973: The siege at Wounded Knee begins. It lasts until May 8, 1973.   Feb. 28, 1675: The Mission Santa Cruz de Sabacola El Menor is dedicated. The mission is for the Sawoklis Indians on Georgia’s Apalachicola River.

Ellis is an author and historian who is working on a book about American Indians. Learn more about American Indian history at

Index | Next