Heritage Site / Ethnography Site / Dakota Nakota Lakota / Governance

Article: Treaties, Agreements, Executive Orders, Acts & Regulations

(Information is being gathered)

1660-1800 Treaties pertaining to peace, friendship and trade were made
(Documentation are being collected)



1750 –1812 A number of Treaties were made with the British that pertained to peace, friendship, trade and support during the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812.
(Documents are being gathered)


1763 Royal Proclamation

With the end of the Seven Years War between Britain and France, the conditions of peace were spelled out in the Treaty of Paris. The terms of peace gave Britain title to various new territories in America. In order to manage these territorial acquisitions a Royal Proclamation was decreed. In Canada, the Proclamation is the basis of our understanding of the legal nature of Indian title and an historical root of the treaty process. Its provisions underlie the surrenders and designations of reserve land, which still take place pursuant to the Indian Act.

1774 Quebec Act

Under the terms of peace agreed to in the Treaty of Paris, Britain gained full control over New France, which became known as Quebec. With rebellions in the colonies to the South, which would later form the beginnings of the United States, the British worried that the French might not be in favour of supporting them.

1791 Constitutional Act

The Constitutional Act of 1791 was an act of the British Parliament that repealed certain parts of the Quebec Act of 1774 and effectively divided the colony into two provinces. What had previously been known, as the colony of "The Province of Quebec" was transformed.

1795 The John Jay Treaty

Treaty between the English and the Americans after the Revolutionary War, contains clause at end: Indians can cross Canada-U.S. border freely without interference by customs, duties, etc on either side. No other mention of responsibilities to Indian allies, their lands either side. Canada refuses to recognize this Treaty.

War of 1812 - Treaty of Ghent - Text of the Treaty

1840 Union Act

The British Parliament reunited Upper and Lower Canada under the Union Act, creating the Province of Canada. The British made the decision to reunite the two provinces into one, 49 years after the Constitutional Act was passed to separate them. Parliament approved the act.

1867 Constitution Act (1871) [BNA Act]

In December of 1866, delegates from the three provinces attended a conference in London, England to discuss the proposed plans for confederation. This conference, chaired by Sir John A. Macdonald and attended by some of the leading Fathers of Confederation, was to lay the groundwork.. Section 91 of the Act establish the confederate governments obligation to First Nations

1982 Canada Act/Constitution Act

This Act was the last constitutional enactment for Canada to be made by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It thus has the political importance of patriating the Canadian constitution; all future amendments must be done within Canada and according to amending formulas set out in Part V of the 1982 Constitution Act, which the Canada brought into force. Further Canada is hereinafter exempt of laws enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The 1982 Constitution Act brought into effect the Charter of Rights And Freedoms and includes a number of clauses that are key to protecting Aboriginal right sin Canada, they are as follows:
Section 25 of the Charter of Rights:


25. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any aboriginal, treaty or other rights or freedoms that pertain to the aboriginal peoples of Canada including
(a) any rights or freedoms that have been recognized by the Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763; and
(b) any rights or freedoms that may be acquired by the aboriginal peoples of Canada by way of land claims settlement.



35. (1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.
(2) In this Act, "aboriginal peoples of Canada" includes the Indian, Inuit, and Metis peoples of Canada.
(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) "treaty rights" includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.
35.1 The government of Canada and the provincial governments are committed to the principal that, before any amendment is made to Class 24 of section 91 of the "Constitution Act, 1867", to section 25 of this Act or to this Part,
(a) a constitutional conference that includes in its agenda an item relating to the proposed amendment, composed of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces, will be convened by the Prime Minister of Canada; and

(b) the Prime Minister of Canada will invite representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada to participate in the discussions on that item.


Treaties & Agreements


Executive Orders Specific to the O©eTi §aúowiñ

From "Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties" compiled by Charles Kappler to 1913:

  • 1862 President Lincoln Orders the Execution of 38 Dakota at Mankato, Minnesota
    [This is the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. Initially 303 were sentenced to executed, President Lincoln intervened and reduced the number to 39. New evidence lead to the acquittal of another. On December 26, 1862 38 were hung and buried in a single grave on the edge of town.]
  • 1866 President Andrew Jackson Orders the Release of 177 Dakota Prisoners of War.
  • 1863 Crow Creek Reserve
  • 1863 Old Winnebago Reserve
  • 1866 Niobrara Reserve
  • 1867 Santee Sioux Reserve
  • 1867 Santee Sioux Nebraska
  • 1869 Santee Sioux Reserve
  • 1869 Santee Sioux Nebraska
  • 1873 Santee Sioux Nebraska
  • 1875 Sioux Reserve (January)
  • 1875 Sioux Reserve (May)
  • 1879 Drifting Goose Reserve
  • 1879 Sioux Reservation
  • 1880 Drifting Goose Reserve
  • 1882 Sioux Reserve Nebraska area (Pine Ridge)
  • 1885 Niobrara or Santee Sioux Nebraska
  • 1885 Old Winnebago Reserve
  • 1904 Disposal of Sioux Lands
  • Executive Orders relating to North Dakota Indian Reserves
  • Executive Orders relating to Minnesota Indian Reserves. - Mdewakanton Sioux Reserve.
  • Executive Orders relating to Montana Indian Reserves.Fort Peck Reserve.
    [Occupied by Assiniboin, Brulé, Santee, Teton, Hunkpapa, and Yanktonai Sioux; area, 2,775 square miles; established by treaty, etc.,and Fort Belknap Reserve occupied by Assiniboine and Gros Ventre see “Blackfeet Reserve.”].

Proclamations Specific to the O©eTi §aúowiñ

From "Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties" compiled by Charles Kappler to 1913:

Acts of Congress Specific to the O©eti §aúowiñ


Acts Pertaining to Native Americans in General

1787 Northwest Ordinance

The final of four Ordinances was adopted by the Confederation Congress sitting in its last session, in 1787. In sum, the Northwest Ordinance dealt with the territory acquired from Great Britain in the aftermath of the war---land north of the Ohio River and east of Mississippi. It made four crucial promises to prospective states in this region. First, that each would enter the union "on an equal footing with the original states." Second, that revenue generated from the sale of a portion of each township in the state would go to fund public education---the first instance of federal aid for education in American history. Third, "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude" were to be allowed. And four, that a good faith effort would be made to respect the Indians in the territory.

1790 –1834 Indian Trade and Intercourse Act

The stated purpose of this act was to protect against unscrupulous white traders, control liquor traffic in Indian country and provide a way to remove renegade white desperados from Indian country. The Trade and Intercourse Acts (the last being passed in 1834) operated to restrict the exercise of Indian sovereign powers through the influence of the US government in Indian country. What occurred was an extension of federal criminal jurisdiction to offenses involving non-Indians in Indian territory. (The act also regulated land transactions in Indian country. Act of June 30, 1834, 4 Stat. 738, 25 U.S.C. ¤ 9) These first steps set the pattern and established a foundation for later broader intrusions upon Indian self-government, even though Congress apparently realized it had no right to do so.

For an explanation of congressional intent in passing the Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834, see H.R. Rep. No. 474, 23rd Cong., 1st Sess., 5(1834):

"It is rather of courtesy than of right that we undertake to punish crimes committed in that Indian territory by and against our own citizens. And this provision is retained principally on the ground that it may be unsafe to trust Indian law in the early stages of their government. . . ." (Emphasis added).

The admission by Congress that the US had no right to punish crimes in Indian country acknowledges that the United States had no jurisdictional authority there.

Title 25 Indians

In the early years of the United States, Indian affairs were governed by the Continental Congress, which in 1775 created a Committee on Indian Affairs headed by Benjamin Franklin. In 1778 Continental Congress made first treaty with Indians (Delawares). Fifty years later, the BIA was established under the War Department, and eventually moved to the Interior Department in 1949. In 1789 United States Constitution was ratified by the states; Indian rights were reaffirmed. In 1790, Congress enacted first law pertaining to Indians to regulate trade and land sales with Indians. Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulation contains all regulations pertaining to Indian people that have been enacted by the United States government. CFR Title 25 does not include the Treaties or legislative act that are specific to Indians.

1862 - The Homestead Act

For the disposition of public lands (formerly Indian lands) through the Act anyone could file for a quarter-section of free land (160 acres). The land was yours at the end of five years if you had built a house on it, dug a well, broken (plowed) 10 acres, fenced a specified amount, and actually lived there. Additionally, one could claim a quarter-section of land by "timber culture" (commonly called a "tree claim"). This required that you plant and successfully cultivate 10 acres of timber.

1885 Major Crimes Act

Was passed by Congress to limit the power of Indian nations to punish Indians who violated tribal law. Previously, the Supreme Court had recognized this power of Indian governments. See; Exparte Crow Dog, 109 U.S. 556 (1886). The effect of the Act has been to punish crimes committed by Indians in accordance with American ideas of law and justice rather than Indian law and custom.

1887 - The Dawes Severalty Act

Otherwise known as the General Allotment Act, gives the President power to reduce the landholdings of the Indian nations across the country by allotting 160 acres to the heads of Indian families and 80 acres to individuals. The intent was to dissolve the Indian nations and assimilate the Indians into American society by breaking up the tribal land base. A 1934 memorandum by B.I.A. Commissioner John Collier reported that as a result of the allotment act more than 80 percent of the lands belonging to the Indians had been lost: "Through sales by the Government of the fictitiously designated "surplus" lands, through sales by the Government of heirship land . . .the total of Indian land holdings has been cut from 138,000,000 acres in 1887 to 48,000,000 acres in 1934.

1898 - Curtis Act

Under the Act tribal lands were allotted, tribal courts were abolished and Indian laws were declared unenforceable in federal courts.

1906 - The Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities

Makes excavation, theft or destruction of historic or prehistoric ruins or objects of antiquity on federal lands a criminal offense. Dead Indians and Indian artifacts are defined as "archeological resources," thus considered federal property.

1924 The Citizenship Act

Naturalizes Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States.

1934 The Indian Reorganization Act

“An Act to conserve and develop Indian lands and resources; to extend to Indians the right to form business and other organizations; to establish a credit system for Indians; to grant certain rights of home rule to Indians; to provide for vocational education for Indians; and for other purposes.” IRA recognized Indian sovereignty, ended the allotment system and stopped the sale of Indian properties to non-Indians.

1935 - The Indian Arts and Crafts Board

Is funded under the U.S. Department of Indian Affairs to encourage Native arts and crafts and to certify the authenticity of Indian products.

1953 Public Law 280 (Termination Policy)

Gave Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota, and Nebraska criminal and civil jurisdiction in Indian country. This was repealed in 1973? but termination remains a threat. TheYankton Sioux Reservation was targeted for termination.

1958, Joohnson Omalley Act P.L. 81-874

Was amended to include assistance for educating Indian children, the JOM program became a supplemental aid program in lieu of tax dollars.

1965 Older Americans Act

Provides grants to American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians to establish programs for older Native Americans under title VI of the act (45 CFR 1328)

1968 - Indian Civil Rights Act

Gives full civil rights to individuals living under tribal law. It effectively reversed the 1896 Supreme Court decision, which declared that individuals living under tribal governments were not protected by the Bill of Rights.

1975 - The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act
Gives Native Americans more control in administering federal programs and services to their people.

1977-78 - U.S. Congress passes a series of approximately 50 laws that help redefine tribal issues regarding water rights, fishing rights and land acquisition. Some land is returned to the tribes, and issues of self-governance are further clarified.

1978 - The Indian Child Welfare Act

Ends the discrimination that prevented Native Americans from acting as foster parents or qualifying for adoption. It also provides Indian communities with child welfare and family services. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act finally reverses U.S. policies outlawing certain tribal rituals and shamanic practices.

1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act

Affirming religious freedom for Indian people.

1983 Indian Land Consolidation Act

Under this act when there are multiple heirs and the division of heirship lands equates to parcels of less than 2% the total and/or a lease payment of less than $100 the ownership of the heirship land will revert tot he tribe. This Act has caused many to loose their rights to heirship lands.

At the time this Act was passed the United States Government stipulated that it had to responsibilities for Canadian Nationals (ie: Dakota/Nakota/Lakota who are members of Canadian Bands or residing in Canada ) and will no longer act as trustee for Canadian Nationals who own lands on US reservations or become heirs to properties on US reservations.

As a result of this Act and the US Government’s position, many Canadian Dakota/Nakota/Lakota have lost their lands on US reservations.

1988 Tribally Controlled Schools Act

Provides grants for operation and management of tribally controlled schools

1989 - The National Museum of the American Indian Act

Orders the Smithsonian Institute to return Native American remains to American Indian tribes.

1990 - The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act

Protects Indian gravesites on federal public lands against looting.

1990 The Indian Arts and Crafts Act

Which goes into effect in 1996, finally protects the work of Indian artists, an effort that began in 1935. In response to growing sales in the billion dollar U.S. Indian arts and crafts market of products misrepresented or erroneously represented as produced by Indians, the Congress passed the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. This Act is essentially a truth-in-advertising law designed to prevent marketing products as ``Indian made'' when the products are not, in fact, made by Indians as defined by the Act.

1990 Native American Languages Act

This federal policy statement recognizing the language rights of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

1992 Native American Language Act

Provides grant program to ensure survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages

2000 Tribal Self-Governance Demonstration Project Act Amendments

Permanently establish Tribal Self-Governance for Indian Health Service programs in a new Title V; repeals Title III of ISEAA; establishes a Title VI in ISDEAA mandating a self-governance demonstration feasibility study.

2001 Native American Language Act – pending –

To provide for the support of Native American Language Survival Schools, and for other programs.

United States Supreme Court Decisions Specific to the O©eti §aúowiñ:

  • 1980 United States versus Sioux Nation of Indians
    • Supreme Court Decision on the Black Hills Claim
  • 1993 South Dakota versus Borland
    • Upheld: Congress, in the Flood Control and Cheyenne River Acts, abrogated the Tribe's rights under the Fort Laramie Treaty to regulate non Indian hunting and fishing on lands taken by the United States for construction of the Oahe Dam and Reservoir. Pp. 7-18.
  • 1997 Babbit versus Youpee
    • States that the 1983 Indian Lands Consolidation Act abrogates rights of decent and devise and further does not provide compensation for lands escheated to the tribe and therefore violates the 5th Amendment Rights.
  • 1998 South Dakota versus Yankton Sioux Tribe
    • Held: The 1894 Act’s operative language and the circumstances surrounding its passage demonstrate that Congress intended to diminish the Yankton Reservation. Pp. 11—27.



1874 Treaty Four

Pheasant Rump, Ocean Man, and Carry The Kettle Nakota Bands are party to this treaty. Wood Mountain Lakota Band and Standing Buffalo Dakota Band are seeking adhesion o this treaty.

1876 Treaty Number Six
1878 Treaty Six Adhesion By Stony Indians

Mosquito Nakota Band and Alexis and Pauls Stoney Bands are party o this treaty. The surrendered Bands of Grissly Bears Head and Lean Man were also signatories to this treaty. White Cap and Whapeton Dakota Bands are seeking adhesion to this treaty.

1877 Treaty Seven

Wesley, Chinki, and Bears Paw Stoney Bands are signatories to this treaty.

Orders In Council Specific to the O©eTi §aúowiñ

(list to be compiled)

Acts of Parliament Pertaining to First Nations In General

  • An Act providing for the Organization of the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada. (May 22, 1868)
  • An Act for the gradual enfranchisement of Indians (June 22, 1869)
  • An Act to provide for the establishment of "The Department of the Interior." (May 3, 1873)
  • An Act to amend certain laws (May 26, 1874)
  • An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians. (April 12, 1876)
  • An Act to amend "The Indian Act, 1876" (May 15, 1879)
  • An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians (May 7, 1880)
  • An Act to amend "The Indian Act 1880" (March 21, 1881)
  • An Act to further amend "The Indian Act 1880" (May 17, 1882)
  • An Act to further amend "The Indian Act, 1880." (April 19, 1884)
  • An Act for conferring certain privileges on the more advanced Bands of Indians of Canada (April 19, 1884)
  • An Act respecting Indians. (1886)
  • An Act to amend "The Indian Act." (June 23, 1887)
  • An Act further to amend "The Indian Act" (May 22, 1888)
  • An Act to amend "The Indian Advancement Act" (May 16, 1890)
  • An Act further to amend"the Indian Act." (1891)
  • An Act to further to amend the Indian Act. (July 23, 1894)
  • An Act further to amend the Indian Act (July 22, 1895)
  • An Act further to amend the Indian Act (June 13, 1898)
  • An Act respecting Indians. (1906)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act. (May 4 1910)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (May 11, 1911)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 12, 1914)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (May 24, 1918)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (July 17, 1919)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (July 1, 1920)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 28, 1922)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (July 19, 1924)
  • An Act respecting Indians (1927)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (March 31, 1927)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 22, 1928)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (April 10, 1930)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (May 23, 1933)
  • An Act respecting the Caughnawaga Indian Reserve (June 28, 1934)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 24, 1938)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 24, 1938)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 24, 1941)
  • An Act respecting Indians (June 20, 1951)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (June 14, 1953)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (August 14, 1956)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (August 13, 1958)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act (March 3, 1960)
  • An Act to amend the Indian Act. (March 9, 1961)
  • An Act respecting Indians (1970)
  • Indian Act (1982)
  • Indian Act (1982)
  • A Proclamation by the Hon. Guy Carlton (Dec. 22, 1766)
  • An Act to appeal certain points of an Act (Oct. 15, 1792)
  • A Proclamation laid before the board by the Hon. Isaac Brock (Feb. 1, 1812)
  • A draft Proclamation, referred to the Executive Council (April 10, 1805)
  • A Proclamation, to such as are desirous to settle on the lands of the crown in the Province of Upper Canada
  • An Act for the protection of certain Bodies of Indians (Feb 17, 1830)
  • Act of Feb 17, 1830 (March 9, 1830)
  • An Act for the protection of the Lands of the Crown (May 11, 1839)
  • An Act to re-unite the Province of Upper and Lower Canada (July 23, 1840)
  • An Act to authorize Her Majesty to take Possession of Lands (Feb. 10, 1840)
  • An Act to amend an Act (May 30, 1849)
  • An Act granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the Public service. (March 2, 1970)
  • An Act respecting the organization of the Government of Canada (June 16, 1966)
  • An Act to amend the Act providing for the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada (April 8, 1875)
  • An Act respecting the organization of the Government of Canada (March 2, 1969)
  • An Act for the Protection for the Public Interests (March 24, 1911)
  • An Act respecting the Department of Mines & Resources. (June 23, 1936)
  • An Act to amend the Judges Act and certain other Acts. (June 19, 1975)
  • Indian Oil & Gas Act
  • An Act respecting oil and gas in Indian lands. (Dec. 20, 1974)

1998 Aboriginal Languages Initiative

First funding program specific for Aboriginal Languages – a $20 million dollar four year initiative.