Written By Hawraa Ktab, Published By Ayesha Nadeem
President Andrew Johnson and Union General William Sherman were involved in the set up of peace treaties between the United States and native American tribal nations following the end of the Civil War, this was according to a historian from the Navajo nation. Shawn Price said 1864 was “ a make-or-break year” for the hard-fought Civil War between the North and the Confederacy, with Republicans reelecting President Abraham Lincoln and a national election. Price said at the time, “The war was not going that great for the North”. This changed in approval of the North when Gen. Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia, and the buildup confidence of Union Commander Ulysses Grant and his troops. Acccording to Price “ It was a defining moment”.
Price said that earlier in American history, George Washington was more worried about that native Indians would agree with the British, so he pursued the lasting peace with the Iroquois Confederacy bu giving them a significant, token belt. In the 1800s, during the Civil War, eight Indian nations rulers signed a defense agreement with the southern Confederacy, which would have improved the height of those native American nations had the war resulted in a final Union defeat. Price said “Native people leaders continued to be pro-active in the West and met with our president and senators, wanting to establish dialogue and avoid conflict.” The first Tribal Treaty, the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty, was signed in October 1867, the historian stated. Price said that in the 20th century, President Franklin Roosevelt revived the nation-to-nation relations between Indians and the United States with a New Deal that reached out to native Americans at the time.
According to Price President Andrew Johnson signed the Cherokee Treaty to continue U.S. relations with the Cherokee nation after the end of the (southern) Confederancy”. Price said despite some delivery by Johnson that mock Indians at the time, Johnson’s “actions speak louder than his words. And that’s what matters.” He should be remembered and praised for his nation-to-nation treaties with native Americans, and that history should be taught in our local schools and learned by our elected officials, Price added. Price also said, currently, the Navajo nation “is blessed to have large deposits of coal, uranium, and natural gas,” as well as “four gaming activities.”