Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations

Medicine Creek Treaty, 1854  |  VIEW TRANSCRIPT »

Throughout the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes, fishing was critical to survival and cultural identity. In treaties that gave up land, farsighted Indian leaders had reserved the rights to fish, hunt, and gather on ceded land forever. “The right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations, is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the Territory,” says article 3 of this treaty—first in a series that ceded Puget Sound in 1854−55.

Image: National Archives, Washington, DC | Transcript: Originally published in Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler, 1904; digitized by Oklahoma State University.