Lone Wolf

Originally named Mama-day-te, this Kiowa saved the son of Old Chief Lone Wolf (Gui-pah-gah) and was given his name. He later avenged the death of the Chief and his nephew at the hands of United States troops.      

He and his followers were known as the Implacables due to their resistance to the imposition of Christianity and government run schools.

In 1867 the Medicine Lodge Treaty was signed at a meeting in Kansas attended by 5000 Kiowa and Comanche. This agreement stated that the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache should have absolute and undisturbed use of tribal lands, although their territory was reduced from 93 million acres to less than 3 million.  The crucial Article 12 said that no further land could be ceded without the signatures of ¾ of the adult males.

In 1892 the Jerome Commission claimed to have agreement to open up lands to settlers despite opposition from Lone Wolf. The United States government assumed title to the lands under the 1900 Fort Hall Agreement.

Lone Wolf hired lawyer William Springer and fought the case in the courts arguing that the agreement had been misrepresented to Indians who did not understand English and the required signatures had not been obtained.  Justice Bradley held that tribes are not independent nations but dependant wards of the state and subject to the control of Congress. Further, this control is political rather than a matter of legal process.

The judgment was appealed and in the interim President McKinley opened tribal lands to settlers by way of a lottery.

Final judgment in the case was given by the Supreme Court, with Justice Edward Douglass White ruling that because tribes are dependant nations treaties could be abrogated if their provisions were not in the best interests of the United States.

The Kiowa, Comanche and Apache reservation was reduced to a paltry 3000 acres.

Lone Wolf lived out his life on the reservation and died in 1923 aged around 80.  In 1955 the Indian Claims Commission awarded the tribes 2 million dollars compensation. 

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