The Diminishment of the Great Sioux Reservation: Treaties, Tricks, and Time


The history of Indian-White relations is one that has been marred by mistrust and dishonesty.  This was especially true in numerous land dealings between the United States government and the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people of the upper Great Plains.  Indeed, the United States Supreme Court noted, "A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history."  This essay will chronicle and analyze the tragic diminishment of the Great Sioux Reservation, which was first established by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.  The land loss progressed with the Homestead Act of 1862, Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, Act of 1877, Act of 1887, Act of 1889, the Wheeler-Howard Act, the Pick-Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944, and the Indian Land Consolidation Act.  Today, the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people remain committed to reversing this trend by reacquiring lost tribal lands and re-establishing the prominence of their culture, language, customs, values, and beliefs.  This essay will present a multi-faceted approach for tribes to consider in re-acquiring lost lands.  Although outright purchase of land is an option for any tribe, Brian Sawers recommends, because of the high cost of land, that tribes "rely on incorporation and eminent domain to consolidate ownership and control of allotted lands in a tribal enterprise."

Article available from Great Plains Quarterly, Fall 2013,


Native American Students' Self-Perceptions Regarding Gardner's Multiple Intelligences


Replicating Harms' (1998) study regarding self-perceptions of multiple intelligences among selected third-, seventh-, and eleventh-grade students in South Dakota, this study examined and compared Native American students' self-perceptions regarding Gardner's multiple intelligences.  Since Gardner (1983) posited his theory of multiple intelligences, people throughout the world have redefined intelligence.  His theory of multiple intelligences states there are eight, or more, ways that students learn and are smart.

Survey instruments were adapted by Harms (1998) from a model developed by the New City School faculty in St. Louis.  Data were collected from 174 third-grade, 122 seventh-grade, and 89 eleventh-grade Native American students enrolled in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools in South Dakota.  A five-point Likert scale was used to measure respondents' perceptions of the predominance of each of the multiple intelligences.  Computation of item means and rankings indicated that the respondents perceived naturalist and visual/spatial intelligences to be their most predominant intelligences and musical/rhythmic intelligence to be their least predominant intelligence.

A one-way analysis of variance showed that there were significantly different perceptions (p < .05) among Native American students at the three grade levels of all intelligences.  A series of t tests for independent means indicated that among all Native American students, there were significantly different perceptions (p < .01) between females and males regarding five of the eight intelligences.  Additionally, the t tests revealed significant differences (p < .01) in perceptions of multiple intelligences by females and males within each selected grade level.

*Dissertation included in Howard Gardner's updated appendices for his book, Intelligence Reframed, see

*Dissertation available from:

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