Column: The myth of the Indian government check

"The myth of the Indians’ government payday wore long gray whiskers when Custer bought the farm on the Little Horn. White settlers screamed when Indian agent and former explorer William Clark spent $20,000 to buy the loyalty of tribes that would have otherwise combined with the British to kick America’s butt in the War of 1812.

Whites wanted the Indians dead and their land claims extinguished. The $20,000 should have been spent on bullets to kill savages, they argued.

In Western pool halls and post offices, anywhere whites gather, the myth persists. In brief, bigots claim that Indians receive a check from the government once a month.

Other handouts claimed include free food, housing and education."

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Roger Clawson: Myths persist about payments to Indians (The Billings Outpost 5/5)