One harmful federal policy was the forced resettlement of Native Americans from the Southeastern part of the United States to territories west of the Mississippi. This occurred in the early 19th century under the administration of President Andrew Jackson, following the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act. The resettlement was supported by military action and mercenary raids on Native American communities in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. One large component of resettlement was the forced march in the Trail of Tears of about 16,000 Cherokee people beginning in 1838. A related component of these procedures was the U.S. government’s failure to observe the terms of numerous treaties made with tribal governments through the 1820s.
A current issue that is bringing together numerous Native American nations and communities is opposition to the Keystone Pipeline. The U.S. government supports efforts to run the pipeline through Native American lands, including some land located in the state of Montana. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Community have filed suit to compel the government to honor existing treaties. Along with TransCanada Energy, the U.S. federal government attempted to have the suit dismissed. In December 2019, the federal court upheld the Tribes’ right to sue.