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America Compared

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  • 1. II Conquering and Settling the West
    By Sandra Flores
  • 2. In 1877, General Oliver Otis Howard gave the Nez PercĂ© Indians thirty days to move their property and livestock or the army would drive them to the reservation. This order leads to the tragic events of the Nez PercĂ© Indians fleeing to Canada. Canada and the United States had different approaches to dealing with the Indians. On the US side, many incidents were violent and bloody, while on the Canadian side, they focused on different issues than the US and any confrontations were mostly peaceful and much less violent. Although many peace treaties in the United States were signed between the government and Indians, many violent encounters still continued.
    Indians were demanded to become sedentary farmers and the whites attempted to control every facet of their lives. In both the United States and Canada, the non-Indian people used schools as a tool to help erase Indian cultural identity.
    In the 1880s, American reformers supported the idea of allotment for the Indians believing that they would understand white society more clearly and would adopt white attitudes and customs through self-interest.
    Also in the 1880s, many disheartened Indians became part of a new religion called Ghost Dance that originated from Tavibo and carried on through his son Wovoka. This religion taught that invading whites would be destroyed in a large earthquake, regular bathing, living plainly, avoiding alcohol, and prohibiting mourning due to the belief that all dead Indians were to return once the whites had been destroyed.
    Indian Societies Under Siege in the United States and Canada