Discrimination against African Americans was very common. But discrimination against Native Americans was even worse. The 14th Amendment declared African Americans citizens. But it did not address Native Americans.
Settlers wanted free land for their cattle to feed. As they took more and more land, they left less and less for bison to graze. Natives had long relied on bison for food, clothing, and tools. An estimated 30 to 60 million bison, also known as American buffalo, once roamed the prairies. Around 1830, settlers and businesspeople started killing them in huge numbers. By 1884, fewer than 1,000 bison were left in the U.S.
Native Americans’ land and food were disappearing. They were forced to sign treaties with the United States. These treaties forced them to move to reservations. Those are areas the government set aside for them. When gold was found in the Black Hills in the 1870s, soldiers forced the Sioux Nation members who lived there to move to reservations.