Native American Timeline
Timeline Description: North America had people living in it long before the first explorers and settlers arrived. Unfortunately, they were pushed off of their land to make way for white settlers, who felt they had the right to own the land. Native Americans continue to fight for the right to keep land that they called home centuries ago.

Date Event
10000 BC Paleo Indians live throughout North America.

The first people to live in North America, the Paleo Indians, spread across the continent. They arrive by walking on a piece of land that joined Asia and North America, but is now a body of water called the Bering Strait.
1452 Pope Urban II declares war on all non-Christians.

Pope Urban II states that non-Christians do not have the right to own land. He decides that explorers have the right to take land from any non-Christians, which includes Indians.
1824 The U.S. creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The U.S. government creates a federal office that is responsible for handling the country's relationship with the 500 Indian tribes in the U.S. The agency, which is part of the War Department, negotiates treaties, sets up Indian schools, and manages trade with the Indians.
1836 Cherokee Indians are forced to walk to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.

President Andrew Jackson orders Cherokee Indians off of their land east of the Mississippi to unsettled land in Oklahoma. Over 4,000 of the Cherokees die on the long walk, which has come to be called the Trail of Tears.
September 1851 the U.S. and eight Indian nations sign The Fort Laramie Treaty.

The U.S. signs the Fort Laramie Treaty with eight Indian nations in the Northern Plains. The treaty says that Indians will allows settlers safe passage through Indian territory in exchange for money, but the treaty falls apart when gold is discovered and settlers stay in Indian territory.
1874 Gold is discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota on Indian land.

With the announcement that gold has been discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Lakota Sioux fight to keep white people from digging up their land. The land had been promised to the Lakota in the Fort Laramie Treaty.
June 25, 1876 General Custer dies in the Battle of Big Horn with the Lakota Sioux.

General George Armstrong Custer and his troops are killed in the Battle of Big Horn with the Lakota Sioux. Custer had been ordered to wait for help, but when he saw Chief Sitting Bull in the area, he decided not to wait.
1877 The U.S. government cancels the Fort Laramie Treaty.

Wanting to own the land where so much gold has been discovered, the U.S. government cancels the Fort Laramie Treaty. The U.S. takes control of the Black Hills and 40 million acres of Lakota land.
July 20, 1881 Chief Sitting Bulls surrenders to U.S. troops.

The leader of many Sioux uprisings, Chief Sitting Bulls surrenders to U.S. troops and is sent to prison in South Dakota. Later, he will spend one season traveling with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show.
December 29, 1890 Over 300 Lakota Sioux die in the Wounded Knee Massacre.

U.S. troops, worried that the Sioux were going to destroy white men, go to Pine Ridge in South Dakota to take their guns. It is not known who fired the first shot, but the result was a massacre of over 300 Indians, mostly women and children.
December 11, 1907 Robert Latham Owen becomes the first Native American senator.

Robert Latham Owen, a Cherokee Indian, becomes the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Senate. Owen represented Oklahoma in the Senate until 1925.
1950 Jim Thorpe is named the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century.

Jim Thorpe, who is part Native American and part Caucasian, is named the greatest athlete of the first 50 years of the 20th century. One of the best athletes in history, he was a baseball player, a football player, a basketball player, and an Olympic champion in track and field.
March 27, 1973 Sacheen Littlefeather makes a speech at the Academy Awards for Marlon Brando.

In protest of the treatment of Native Americans in the movie industry, Marlon Brando sends an Indian named Sacheen Littlefeather to make a speech and turn down his Academy Award. Brando won the Oscar for his role in the movie "The Godfather."
1979 The first Indian casino opens in Florida.

The Seminole Indian tribe opens the first Indian gaming facility in North America. It is only a high stakes bingo parlor, but Indian gaming will grow into a major source of income for many of the Indian tribes in America.
October 21, 2012 The first Native American is made a saint by the Catholic Church.

Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian in the 17th century, becomes the first Native American saint. Born in New York, Tekakwitha was shunned by her family and fellow tribe members when she was baptized at the age of 20.