Native American Nations in the Midwest

Source

Migration of Native North American Peoples

Many groups of Indigenous Peoples of North America inhabit our nation's Midwestern States. Some of these nations, bands, and smaller communities range into Canada as well, including the Iroquois and Chippewa peoples who have migrated back and forth between these two large countries for hundreds of years.

As a country, the USA also has a history of these Midwestern tribal groups migrating east and west through the Eastern Woodlands for many reasons.

One reason is the depletion of resources in one area and the search for better hunting and gathering and agricultural grounds. Wildlife, plant life, and humans all can wear out the land and find it necessary to move on or die.

The American Midwest

Source

Another reason for native migration in the Midwest is the inter-tribal wars that moved defeated groups out of their original homelands in search of newer pastures, wildlife, and arable land.

A third reason for migration is the forced march back to the West by the Indian Removal legislation begun under President Andrew Jackson before the American Civil War started.

Regardless of the reasons, the peoples of the Midwest diaspora are very interesting.

Wheat fields are common in the Midwestern States.
Wheat fields are common in the Midwestern States. | Source

Eastern Woodlands Peoples

Native North American Nations spread back and forth from Midwest to Northeast, gaining lands and then losing them again to Europeans. Many native groups traveled through the Ohio Valley.

Eastern Woodlands Peoples

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Native North American Nations spread back and forth from Midwest to Northeast, gaining lands and then losing them again to Europeans. Many native groups traveled through the Ohio Valley.
Native North American Nations spread back and forth from Midwest to Northeast, gaining lands and then losing them again to Europeans. Many native groups traveled through the Ohio Valley.
Native North American Nations spread back and forth from Midwest to Northeast, gaining lands and then losing them again to Europeans. Many native groups traveled through the Ohio Valley.
Source

Native North Americans in the Midwest

Northernmost Midwest States

Minnesota

  • At least 14 First Nations or Native North Americans have lived for a length of time in Minnesota, likely at least 10,000 years to date. Migratory evidence supports the idea that these peoples came across Canada and the northern part of what is now the USA to settle in Minnesota.

Wisconsin

  • Chippewa/Ojibwe - Found in the Northern USA and in Canada.
  • Dakota
  • The Fox People [not the "Fox tribe"] - Original tribal information is lost.
  • A portion of the Oneida Nation of the Iroquois Six Nations, another portion being in New York and Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.

Michigan & Michigan Upper Peninsula

  • Ottawa and Chippewa/Objibwe
  • Fox
  • Hurons (Wyandot) - Also found historically in Ohio as the last nation to leave the state.
  • Kickapoo
  • Menominee
  • Miami - also in Ohio.
  • Neutrals -- Named by the French. Bands of Indians neutral in wars between Native Americans and Settlers.
  • Noquet

Arapaho - Minnesota

Central Midwest States

Illinois & Iowa

  • Chippewa/Ojibwe, also found in Indiana and Michigan.
  • Dakota Sioux
  • Delaware: Passing through to new homelands. Delaware are also found on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada.
  • Fox - forced farther West by US Government.
  • Ho-Chunk
  • Illinois: Forced west by the Fox and Sauk.
  • Iowa
  • Miami, who also lived in Ohio
  • Shawnee: United Remnant Band resides in Ohio

Indiana

  • Chippewa/Ojibwe, Delaware, Erie, Illinois - all pushed to the West.
  • Iroquois: Others of the Six Nations drove out some of the Seneca.
  • Kickapoo: Just passing through.
  • Miami: Also found in Ohio.

Iowa and Illinois

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Southern Illinois Settlement of Indigenous People.Kickapoo Family in Illinois Native Americans in Indiana guide French explorers.Native Americans of Iowa.
Southern Illinois Settlement of Indigenous People.
Southern Illinois Settlement of Indigenous People. | Source
Kickapoo Family in Illinois
Kickapoo Family in Illinois | Source
Native Americans in Indiana guide French explorers.
Native Americans in Indiana guide French explorers. | Source
Native Americans of Iowa.
Native Americans of Iowa. | Source

Illinois Confederation

The Illinois Confederation is also called the Illini. They are historically a federation of a dozen Native North American American Nations the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Five tribes remained by the time of the Civil War: Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Peoria, and Tamaroa.

Rough Boundaries of the Illini Natives In the Upper Mississippi River Valley

show route and directions
A markerUpper Mississippi River -
Upper Mississippi River, Itasca Township, MN, USA
[get directions]

Origin of the Mississippi River.

B markerIllinois Native Americans -
Native American House, 1206 W Nevada St, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
[get directions]

C markerChicago -
Chicago, IL, USA
[get directions]

D markerIowa -
Iowa, USA
[get directions]

E markerSt, Louis MO -
St Louis, MO, USA
[get directions]

Ohio Indigenous Groups

The Native North American word "Ohio" means "Big River." When the French entered what became the Northwest Territory and then the Ohio Territory, then added "beautiful" the the name. This was misinterpreted by Americans in the 20th century to mean that the word "Ohio" meant "Beautiful River."

Native Nations In Ohio: Mound Builders and Others

Source

Mound Builders: The Alligator Mound In Granville, Ohio

Located east of Columbus Oh in the college town of Granville.
Located east of Columbus Oh in the college town of Granville. | Source

Ohio

The tribal groups that once lived in Ohio include the following:

Original Tribal Groups

  • Adena Culture
  • Fort Ancient Culture
  • Hopewell Culture
  • Moundbuilders

Groups Following the Original Tribes

  • Erie or "Long Tail"
  • Kaskaskia
  • Kickapoo
  • Potawatomi
  • Shawnee. The United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation is still active in Western Ohio, particularly in and around Dayton, Springfield, and Yellow Springs. Fred Shaw, Algonquian and retired Methodist pastor, and his son operate living history events here concerning settlers and Native Americans.

Shawnee Woodland Native American Museum

Shawnee Woodland Native American Museum is operated along with the Zane/Shawnee Show Cave by the United Remnant Band.

United Remnant Band of Shawnee, Businesses

show route and directions
A markerUnited Remnant Band Museum and Show Cave In Ohio -
7092 OH-540, Bellefontaine, OH 43311, USA
[get directions]

B markerShawnee Woodland Native American Museum 7092 State Route 540; Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311 -
7092 OH-540, Bellefontaine, OH 43311, USA
[get directions]

Groups that Migrated into Ohio

  • Delaware: Forced to the West, but also moved to Ontario Province.
  • Illinois: Forced to the West.
  • Miami
  • Ottawa
  • Iroquois Confederacy peoples: Especially Mohawk in parts of East and Southeast Ohio. These peoples were largely settled in New York State, but some lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio. One branch of Iroquois people split off in New York to become the Cherokee on the Southeast Coast. Seneca (also called Mingo) was another group living in Ohio.
  • Wyandot/Wyandotte: The last tribal group to move westward during the Indian removals of President Andrew Jackson. These native people may have been paid to leave the state.

Mohawk - One member of the Iroquois Confederacy, the oldest representative democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
Mohawk - One member of the Iroquois Confederacy, the oldest representative democracy in the Western Hemisphere. | Source

Southernmost Midwest State

Missouri

  • Caddo - forced back to the west.
  • Dakota - forced farther west.
  • Delaware
  • Fox
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kickapoo - moved on to Kansas.
  • Missouri

Native American Organizations in the Midwest

Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio

Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio [NAICCO]

67 East Innis Avenue
PO Box 07705
Columbus, OH 43207
Phone: (614) 443-6120

NAICCO) has served the county since 1975, founded by Selma Walker, a Dakota of the Yankton Sioux Reservation, South Dakota.

For 18 years, Selma was Executive Director. Selma's. Daughter Carol Welsh was elected as a replacement in 1993. Today's Executive Director is Masami Smith.

The Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio is a non-profit inter-tribal group.

The following services are provided:

  • CULTURAL PROGRAMS: 2 large pow wows annually. Mini pow wows, lectures, dance demonstrations, storytelling, and other cultural events.
  • CULTURAL ARTS: Classes are available traditional/contemporary Native arts. Beadwork, dancing, singing, language, clothing design.
  • WHITE BISON CIRCLE: Native approach to recovery. Meetings on alternate Monday evenings open to anyone who wants to attend. AA Big Book (closed meeting) - Candlelight Meeting, and 12 x 12.
  • TALKING CIRCLE: A Talking Circle is held on alternate Monday nights. Topic varies.
  • CREATIVE CIRCLE: A Creative Circle is held on Wednesday nights.
  • SUBSISTENCE NEEDS: Clothing, household items, hot lunches - Anyone in need. You don't have to be Native American.
  • FOOD PANTRY: Food for each member of the family, once each month with proper ID.
  • EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION: Job referrals made to local employers. Training referrals to training, GED and adult literacy programs. Tutoring through the Columbus Public Schools.
  • VET REFERRAL: Referrals to the Disabled Veterans' Services.

Pow Wows

Most of the original nations of worldwide spent the much of the year in scattered bands. Once a year they gathered in the Spring to pray for good crops, or Summer to pray in thankfulness for the Harvest. Marriages were made. Problems were settled. Food was shared.

in the American Plains, High Summer saw the communal buffalo hunt and another celebration. Pow Wows were held often.

Longfellow's Poem "Hiawatha" - Mohawk Nation

Native Americans Westward

Native North Americans moved from the West into the Eastern US, but after the arrival of Europeans, many natives moved back toward the West voluntarily and involuntarily.

Siege at Fort Pitt, 1765

show route and directions
A markerFort Pitt PA -
University of Pittsburgh, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
[get directions]

During Pontiac's Rebellion, Native Americans tried to drive British out of the Ohio Country and back across the Appalachians to Pennsylvania.

B markerPoint State Park PA -
Point State Park, 101 Commonwealth Place #1, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, USA
[get directions]

This historic park surrounds the battlefield areas.

Pennsylvania Land Purchases From Natives Who Moved To The Midwest

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Native Americans migrated into the Ohio Territory and farther to the West.Point State Park, Pennsylvania
Native Americans migrated into the Ohio Territory and farther to the West.
Native Americans migrated into the Ohio Territory and farther to the West. | Source
Point State Park, Pennsylvania
Point State Park, Pennsylvania | Source

Movement of Shawnee Nation

show route and directions
A markerUnited Remnant Band of Shawnee, Dayton OH -
Dayton, OH, USA
[get directions]

B markerShawnee Reservation, Oklahoma -
Shawnee Rd, Sand Springs, OK 74063, USA
[get directions]

© 2007 Patty Inglish

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Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you for your encouragement.

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