Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF)



Challenging the mythology of US-Indian Treaties

In 90 years, the US property system spread across North America. The US-Indian treaties were essential events in this remarkable growth. What motivated such aggressive expansion, and who benefitted from it most directly?

Men who signed US-Indian treaties for the federal government were on the spot when the resources of a continent entered the US property system. Until now, those men have never been examined as a group – but they were not on the spot by accident. They represented the powerful interests that drove westward expansion and shaped US-Indian policy, often for personal gain.  

The US Treaty Signer Project, an initiative of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, presents information on hundreds of US treaty signers and on the business, family and social networks that connected them. It opens a surprising new window on the assumptions, motivations and mechanisms on which the United States is built.

Visit the US Treaty Signers website HERE


A window on Indigenous political systems

Scores of Indigenous nations signed treaties with the US between 1778 and 1870. One hallmark of these nations is diversity. Each nation had a distinctive culture, history, and language; was organized in specific political and social structures; and pursued its own objectives in international diplomacy.

The "US-Indian" treatieas bear more than 10,000 signatures of Indigenous representatives. Each of those signers had an individual relationship to the political structure that he or she represented. Their personal stories are often powerful, and their lives offer a window on the often-complex politics of their nation.

As an aid to researchers, information is provided here on each of the treaty signatures provided by Indigenous representatives: the treaty on which the signature appears; names in both tribal and European naming conventions taken from the treaties; national affiliation of the signer; and a first attempt to identify multiple signatures that were made by the same person.

Visit Indigenous Signers of Treaties with the US HERE


ILTF is a national, community-based organization serving American Indian nations and people in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands. We work to promote education, increase cultural awareness, create economic opportunity, and reform the legal and administrative systems that prevent Indian people from owning and controlling reservation lands.


Visit the Indian Land Tenure Foundation website HERE