Land Ownership

Time Frame: Early 1700's

In the early 1700s Europeans and native Indians had different ideas about who could own land.
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“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa Public Television, 1979.

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Another source of conflicts was the different ways Indians and whites thought about the land. Government officials believed that when they gave the Indians gifts in return for some of their lands, the government owned the land. But the Indians believed that the land was not theirs to sell.

The Great Spirit is our father, but the earth is our mother. She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Our land is more valuable to us then your gifts; it will last forever. As long was the sun shines and the waters flow, this land will be here to give life to men and animals. As a present to you, we will give you anything we have, but the land is our mother and we can never sell our mother.

Over the years, the differing attitudes towards the land held by the white man and the Indian produced a harvest of fear, hatred and conflict.


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