A weeping George Gillette in 1940, witnessing the forced sale of 155,000 acres of land for the Garrison Dam and Reservoir, dislocating more than 900 Native American families
These lands were owned by the Three Affiliated Tribes, which “had been their home for perhaps more than a millennium”. Threatened by confiscation under eminent domain, the tribes protested…
The tribes achieved remuneration, but lost 94% of their agricultural land in 1947, when they were forced to accept $5,105,625, increased to $7.5 million in 1949. The final settlement legislation denied tribes’ right to use the reservoir shoreline for grazing, hunting, fishing or other purposes, including irrigation development and royalty rights on all subsurface minerals within the reservoir area. About 1,700 residents were forcibly relocated, some to New Town, North Dakota. Thus Garrison Dam almost totally destroyed the traditional way of life for the Three Affiliated Tribes.
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