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From the 1700s onward the U.S. desired land for it's westward expanding settler population. To accomplish this,  the U.S. federal government negotiated hundreds of agreements with American Indians called "treaties". A treaty is a formal agreements between two sovereign nations.   The treaties stated that tribes would give up their rights to hunt and live on large parts of their homeland and would be compensated with trade goods, cash annuity payments, and services. Often, along with signing treaty papers, the tribes would sign additional papers that promised repayment to traders that claimed they were owed money for goods.Tribes who didn't readily agree with treaties or noticed the corruption or violation of terms that often came along with them, had no recompense and faced forced removal. Future federal acts and policies continued to displace Indian peoples, disperse their land holdings, and pressure them to adopt white lifeways.  As a result, today's total American Indian land-base is less than the area of the state of Minnesota.  
Beginning in 1805, Indians in the area that became Minnesota agreed to make concessions of land for specific uses by the U.S. government. 
By 1858, when Minnesota became a state, almost all Indian lands in Minnesota had been ceded, or reserved for white settlement.   


Prucha, Frances Paul. American Indian Treaties: The History of a Political Anomaly. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1994.
Prucha, Frances Paul. Documents of United States Indian Policy. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.
Waldman, Carl. Atlas of the North American Indian. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing, 2009.

Resources for Further Research: 

Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784-1894. Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
Kappler, Charles J. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904. Oklahoma State University Library, 1999. Web. http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/
Minnesota Territory:  The Treaty StoryMinnesota Historical Society http://www.mnhs.org/places/historycenter/exhibits/territory/territory/treaty/treaty8a.html
Wingerd, Mary North Country: The Making of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2010. 

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