ARTICLE XVI

Article 16. UNCEDED TERRITORY and ABANDONED FORTS

No white persons are to settle in the unceded territory, or without permission, to pass through it. Three forts in the territory—C.F. Smith, Kearny, and Reno—are to be abandoned and the Bozeman Trail connecting them closed.

Click here for the full text of the article in the treaty.

Curriculum

It makes our hearts feel good to learn that you will give us all the country north of the Platte.

White Bull, Fort Laramie, April 29, 1868

For me, the treaty marks a time when my Lakota and White ancestors’ histories and lives became my history. I do not see the treaty as an end but a beginning of the struggle to find a new way into the future.

Joseph Allen, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, 2019

I admit to believing the idea that treaties were forced upon Natives and admit to feeling shame for the naiveté of my ancestors and their treaty-signing follies. But being part of this exhibit helped me discard the shackles of a false narrative I never realized hobbled my ancestral perceptions and prevented me from forging an honest connection with my past.

Taté Walker, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, 2019

What the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty means to me is simple.  It is another broken promise to the Native Americans which needs to be rectified.

Linda Szabo, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, 2019

Article 16 is about a territory I and the other members of Ghostsong Elegy have lived most of our lives within.  North of the North Platte and East of the Bighorns. We called the song "Altars Made Of Earth"  after a Luther Standing Bear quote I think captures a reverence we all feel for this land. 

Tom Swift Bird, Oglala Sioux Tribe, 2019

The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power ... Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth ... For [them], to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly...

Luther Standing Bear, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, 1933

ARTICLE 16. The United States hereby agrees and stipulates that the country north of the North Platte River and east of the summits of the Big Horn Mountains shall be held and considered to be unceded Indian territory, and also stipulates and agrees that no white person or persons shall be permitted to settle upon or occupy any portion of the same; or without the consent of the Indians first had and obtained, to pass through the same; and it is further agreed by the United States that within ninety days after the conclusion of peace with all the bands of the Sioux Nation, the military posts now established in the territory in this article named shall be abandoned, and that the road leading to them and by them to the settlements in the Territory of Montana shall be closed.