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This Week in Aboriginal History: Nez Perce surrender after 1,300-mile trek to Canada

By Carl A. Ellis, Friday, October 5, 2018

Sept. 28, 1874: The U.S. 4th Cavalry attacks a Comanche-Kiowa camp near Amarillo, Texas, in the main battle of the Red River War. They kill three warriors, slaughter 1,000 horses and destroy the Indians’ winter food stores. The battle marks the last attempt by Southern Plains Indians to resist the influx of white settlers.

Sept. 29, 1806: Zebulon Pike, American brigadier general and explorer, holds a grand council with the Pawnee tribe. Pike estimates 400 Pawnee warriors attended. He hopes to win their allegiance to the United States instead of Spain.

Sept. 30, 1865: There are 402 Apache Indians and 7,318 Navajo Indians living at the reservation in Fort Sumner, N.M., according to a report released this day.

Oct. 1, 1990: The Cherokee Nation becomes one of six tribes to assume responsibility for the disbursement of Bureau of Indian Affairs funds. Prior to today’s Indian self-governance agreement, the bureau had decided how funds should be spent.

Oct. 2, 1877: Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph surrenders to the U.S. Army in Montana. Forced from their East Oregon homeland, the 700 Nez Perce had traveled 1,300 miles in three months toward Canada. They’re forced onto an Oklahoma Reservation where they suffered greatly. In 1885, survivors are permitted to return to the Northwest, but only to Idaho and Washington, not their ancestral homeland in Oregon.

Oct. 3, 1763: Indians ambush 60 rangers in Virginia as part of Pontiac’s War. Fifteen soldiers are killed. Virginia militia and volunteers track the Indians to the South Fork of the Potomac River, where 21 Indians are killed.

Oct. 4, 1838: A second group of Cherokees leaves the Tennessee Cherokee Agency led by Elijah Hicks. They are part of the forced removal of Cherokees to Indian Territory. They will arrive Jan. 4, 1839.


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