Learn more about this act from the Indian (American) perspective. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhwSW2a_RPY&feature=youtu.be
Per the US Department Interior: “1887-1889 The Dawes Act authorizes allotments to Indians.”
Per the National Park Service:
“Under the Dawes Act heads of Indian families would receive 160-acre allotments, with the Secretary of the Interior holding the titles in trust for 25 years. As Indians became individual landowners and farmers, tribal affiliations would wither and the need for reservations would evaporate. . . . Instead of going to allotments, much Indian land was purchased by the Secretary and sold to the general public under another provision of the law, with the proceeds held in trust for the tribes. The result was that Indian holdings declined from 155,632,312 acres in 1881 to 77,865,373 acres in 1900.” READ MORE HERE.
2014 story of interest: Two governments work together to overcome more than a century of distrust