There were eight in our party of bronzed children who were going East with the missionaries. Among us were three young braves, two tall girls, and we three little ones, Judéwin, Thowin, and I. We had been very impatient to start on our journey to the Red Apple Country, which, we were told, lay a little beyond the great circular horizon of the Western prairie. Under a sky of rosy apples we dreamt of roaming as freely and happily as we had chased the cloud shadows on the Dakota plains. We had anticipated much pleasure from a ride on the iron horse, but the throngs of staring palefaces disturbed and troubled us … children who were no larger than I hung themselves upon the backs of their seats, with their bold white faces toward me. Sometimes they took their forefingers out of their mouths and pointed at my moccasined feet. Their mothers, instead of reproving such rude curiosity, looked closely at me, and attracted their children’s further notice to my blanket. This embarrassed me, and kept me constantly on the verge of tears.“The School Days of an Indian Girl” by Zitkála-Šá
For decades, before they were forced onto reservations, Native Americans had friendly and even intimate contact with non-natives. But as settlements increased, so did the violence, and death. Eventually, the US government calculated that it was cheaper to kill the Indian way of life than to kill Indians.
Further reading and listening:
Letter by Captain Silas Soule to Major Edward W. Wynkoop describing Sand Creek atrocities (Scroll down the page for the letter.)