This paper addresses how the cattle trails affected the Native American tribes in Indian Territory. There has been a plethora of research done on finding the cattle trails, life as a cowboy, and the economics of the cattle trade, but precious little is said about its impact on the Indians, whose land the trails went through. This paper examines the role of cattle in tribes prior to relocation, how the Five Civilized/Eastern Tribes utilized cattle and interacted with early cattle trails, and how the Western Plains Tribes reacted to cattle trails moving westward. The cattle trails provided for a new economy in Indian Territory that allowed the Native Americans to survive and thrive as they became involved in the cattle industry; however, that same economic development was misused to justify the elimination of reservations and open the land to white settlement.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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