In the late 19th century, the Lakota Nation lived in the better part of five modern day states. American expansion into the Great Plains threated this sovereign territory. The Treaty of Ft. Laramie (1868) attempted to contain the Lakota on a reservation in present day South Dakota.
The Dawes Act of 1887 further undermined Lakota territorial control. The act distributed 160 acre parcels of land to Lakota families. The federal government sold the remainder to white settlers. This resulted in the loss of over two million acres of land to non-Native people.