Originated by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), Articles of a Treaty focuses on the seventeen articles of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Thirty-two contemporary Oceti Sakowin artists created artworks for this exhibit. Seventeen additional Oceti Sakowin writers crafted poems or prose for the seventeen articles. Seventeen Oceti Sakowin and Northern Plains musicians created songs that are available online. Between April 29, 1868 and November 6, 1868, one hundred fifty-eight representatives of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) Confederacy signed the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Curator Craig Howe, Ph.D. defines for us the divisions of the Oceti Sakowin Confederacy: Dakota (east) is comprised of 4 tribes, Nakota is comprised of 2 tribes and Lakota has 1 tribe. Information about each artist and the Treaty articles appear in the exhibit catalog.
In 1841, the first westward-bound emigrants arrived at the fort located at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers. They were bound for the territories of Oregon and California and also Salt Lake City in Utah. In the years 1858 to 1861, the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush brought even more white settlers to the western territories, accelerating conflicts between settlers and the Indians. In 1865, a congressional committee began a study of the Indian uprisings and wars in the West, resulting in a written report, Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes, published in 1867, which ultimately led to the establishment of an Indian Peace Commission on July 20 of
the same year. The intent and purpose of the commission was to end the Indian wars and prevent future Indian conflicts.
In 1868, the Indian Peace Commission comprised of three generals – General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Alfred Howe Terry and General William Selby Harney -, and four civilians: N. G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Senator John B. Henderson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs; Samuel F. Tappan; and John B. Sanborn, met with a contingent of Sicangus/Brule Indians at Fort Laramie who signed the treaty on April 29. The commission then split up and spent the rest of the summer securing signatures from all the other Oceti Sakowin (Sioux) nations. The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 16, 1869 and then proclaimed by President Andrew Johnson on February 24. However, by 1874 gold had been discovered in the Black Hills causing the fast dismantling of the treaty by the United States Government. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty contains seventeen articles which articulate the agreement between the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux) Confederacy and the United States of America. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty is the document whereby the Oceti Sakowin Confederacy is recognized as a political entity by the United States. It is the Confederacy’s Lakota division that is generally perceived to be the beneficiaries of the treaty.
Thirty-two talented Oceti Sakowin artists created contemporary artworks related to the seventeen articles which comprise The Brinton Museum’s show. Participating artists: Dustin Twiss (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Donald F. Montileaux (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Wade Patton (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Alfreda Beartrack Algeo (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe), Jim Yellowhawk (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), Brian Szabo (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Dwayne Wilcox (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Richard Red Owl (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Charles Her Many Horses (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Tom Swift Bird (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Angela Babby (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Sandy Swallow (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Renelle White Buffalo (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Del Iron Cloud (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), Paul Szabo (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), JhonDuane Goes In Center (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Roger Broer (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Gerald Cournoyer (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Evans Flammond, Sr. (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Dorene Red Cloud (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Reyna Hernandez (Yankton Sioux Tribe), Lorri Ann Two Bulls (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Monty Fralick (Oglala Sioux Tribe), James Star Comes Out (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Paul High Horse, (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Marty Two Bulls, Jr. (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Keith BraveHeart (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Micheal Two Bulls (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Joseph Allen (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Linda Szabo (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Andrea Lekberg (Oglala Sioux Tribe), and Iris Sully (Rosebud Sioux Tribe).
The exhibit catalog and Poetry Chapbook are available as a set in The Brinton Museum Store.