Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851)

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The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 was signed on September 17 between United States treaty
commissioners and representatives of the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, Shoshone,
Assiniboine, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations. The U.S. government promised control of
the Great Plains which was the bulk of Native American territory, for “as long as the river flows
and the eagle flies”. The Indians guaranteed safe passage for settlers on the Oregon Trail in
return for promises of an annuity in the amount of fifty thousand dollars for fifty years. The
Native American nations also allowed roads and forts to be built in their territories. The United
States Senate ratified the treaty, adding Article 7, to adjust compensation from fifty to ten years,
if the tribes accepted the changes. Acceptance from all tribes, with the exception of the Crows,
was procured. Several tribes never received the commodities promised as payments. The treaty
produced a brief period of peace.