Examines the complex economic and social relationship between Northwest Nebraska and Pine Ridge Reservation from the 1870’s to early 20th Century.
Northwest Nebraska, from the 1870s to the early twentieth century, had a complex economic and social relationship with the Pine Ridge Reservation. As the United States continued promoting settlement westward, the US military became the main proponents in displacing the Lakota from their land in Nebraska. Along with the droves of miners and merchants to the Black Hills, the additional free land opportunities in northwest Nebraska forcibly relocated the Lakota who continued to struggle to control their way of life. Businessmen from around the country and within the border town communities of Gordon, Rushville, Hay Springs, and Chadron sought the advantages of new economic opportunities being so close to a Native reservation. At the same time, the aggressive assimilation policies and practices of the progressive era were largely taken advantage of by individuals who sought to gain politically and economically in their dealings with the Lakota.