In 1898, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara petitioned the President of the United States requesting permission to send a delegation to Washington to present their demands. When nothing came out of these efforts, they were in 1911, recalling in Washington the history of tribal government relations. About a year later, a delegation was allowed to come to Washington. In this regard, differing interpretations of the terms of the 1909 agreement for the opening of the reserve should be discussed. They were ordered to have a lawyer to follow up on their case. Three years later, another delegation was sent. The only issue the government would discuss with them was the distribution of revenues from land sales after the recent opening of the reserve. In addition to the seizures of land under the executive orders of 1870 and 1880, the tribes now wanted to take over the Fort Stevenson Military Reserve. The precedent set by the 1880 agreement, as well as the history of Indian treaties in general, led Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara to believe that they should have been compensated for these reductions. (Meyer, 1977, 186). On March 3, 1901, Congress passed a law providing for the use of a number of special agents to visit Indian reserves and negotiate the sale of “surplus” land. James McLaughlin, a veteran agent of many tribes, arrived at Fort Berthold in June 1902.
He suggested that the Mandan, Hidatsa and Sahnish sell about 315,000 hectares of their land. You were against it. When the tribes reached an agreement, they agreed to sell 208,000 hectares for 1.25 $US per hectare, build a fence and buy bulls, mares, mowers and rakes. The remaining funds should be allocated equally among each of them. For unknown reasons, this proposal submitted to Congress has never been ratified. A bill has been introduced to open the reserve. The tribes objected because the government did not give advice with them and got its approval of the proposed legislation. The law of June 1, 1910 provided for the complete surrender of thirteen full communes and eight broken communes and the rest of the reserve north and east of Missouri, with the exception of individual allowances. Some land was also reserved for agency, school and mission purposes on the left bank of the river, and protection of the Like-a-Fishhook village site was also provided.