V. Criterion (d) Imposing Measures Intended to Prevent Births Within the Group

As I have argued in previously published works, during the 1860s, “Dakota people were experiencing enforced subfecundity (a diminished ability to reproduce) as a direct consequence of gender segregation.” This practice warrants consideration under criterion (d) of the Genocide Convention, “Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”

From the time of Dakota surrender or capture at the end of the war, the army systematically separated the men from the women and children. This gender segregation was not just enforced through the trials, nor was it merely enforced through the President's review of the trials, but it was enforced for approximately four years following the 1862 War. While sixteen women accompanied the Dakota men as they served prison sentences in Davenport (to work as cooks and laundresses), the vast majority of Dakota women in custody faced long-term or permanent separation from their husbands. For example, when James Stone became Indian Agent for the “Sioux of the Mississippi” in 1865, of the 1043 Indians he counted at Crow Creek, only about 100 were men. And, women at both Crow Creek and Davenport were victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by white soldiers. All these factors served to make normal family life impossible for Dakota people and to prevent reproduction. The forced gender segregation combined with the death, disease, and starvation that characterized life in exile all served to severely and effectively diminish the Dakota population.