Main Topic: Our Nation
Topic: National Expansion & Reform
Topic: Native American Perspectives
Speaker: Nancy Gillis
The Plains Tribes and the Homestead Act
While many tribes inhabited the immense tract of land called The Great Plains, interacting with their environment, neighboring tribes, and even European explorers and trappers for centuries, two decades prior to the American Civil War and the two decades following the Civil War brought tremendous changes due to increased tensions in the East and legislation enacted in Washington – the Homestead Act of 1862. Nancy Gillis will examine why and how these changes occurred on the Plains for the tribes by looking at changes in foods, clothing, housing, family structure, gender roles, land control, and political relationships.