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Native American Nations in the Southwest: Oklahoma and Texas

Updated on September 22, 2021
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on indigenous peoples for over four decades.

The Indigenous Southwestern United States

Arizona and New Mexico Native American Nations were initially presented in Part VIII in this series. Here we display a number of additional pictures and videos regarding those nations to bridge the migration of native peoples across the American West and Southwest.

Those who became Native Americans migrated eastward as they required additional food and agricultural lands and spread their communities through Texas and Oklahoma onward into the American Southeast. Later, many of them moved back the other direction under Federal Relocation Programs.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
 Map of Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area, 2012.
 Map of Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area, 2012.
Map of Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area, 2012. | Source
Source

Oklahoma is often called "Indian Country", because of the large number of Native North American groups placed on reservations in this state during and after the Indian Removals begun by President Andrew Jackson.

First Nations and Related Native Americans

First Nations and Native Americans from Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the USA migrated east and south as well. As all of these nations and smaller groups - bands and pueblos and independent groups or communities - moved eastward and encountered European explorers and settlers.

These indigenous peoples also met incoming African slaves and peoples from the West Indies and intermixed with them, forming unique cultural segments of America in Metis groups and Creoles, Floridian native groups, and other such interesting ethnic groups.

The Southwest and Southeast cultures gave rise to a number of culinary disciplines that have become the foundation of education for some of the great chefs of today in the southern USA. The indigenous cultures and mixes took on certain characteristics of the environment, climate, and landscape as well as of nearby Spanish, Mexican, other European influences and the related cultures.

Hopi pueblo on "First Mesa"
Hopi pueblo on "First Mesa"

Diversity within Native North Americans

When thinking of the American Southwest, many individuals think about the famous Hopi Nation in Arizona or the mystical legends of New Mexican tribes. These are quite different from the many indigenous groups found in Oklahoma and Texas, just a couple of states to the east and still located in the Southwest.

At one time in the 20th century, the standard depiction of any Native American cost to coast was a man in deerskin jacket and leggings, wearing a Plains Indian feathered headdress, standing next to a teepee, tending a campfire, and having a tall totem pole. This image was really a composite of several tribal groups and not found at all in some parts of the United States.

White settlers killed many times more bison than did any buffalo jump slaughter of the Native Americans and nearly made the American Bison extinct. Today, bison herds are growing in size again, especially in the West and Southwest.
White settlers killed many times more bison than did any buffalo jump slaughter of the Native Americans and nearly made the American Bison extinct. Today, bison herds are growing in size again, especially in the West and Southwest. | Source

The "Five Civilized Tribes" of Oklahoma

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Choctaw Nation Flag
Source
Choctaw Nation Flag
Choctaw Nation Flag

Native American Nations Throughout Oklahoma

Dozens of Native American groups are located in Oklahoma in the 21st Century, with a full 60 nations having lived in this state at one time or another.

Many of the current native communities in Oklahoma are contained in the following federally-recognized list. This does not include non-federally recognized or state-recognized nations or totally unrecognized groups.

  • Absentee Shawnee Nation
  • Alabama Quassarte
  • Apache Nation
  • Caddo Nation
  • Cherokee Nation: Federally recognized groups are the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina. DNA research suggests a split from the Iroquois Confederacy nation Mohawk in the past, centuries ago.
  • Cheyenne-Arapaho Nation
  • Chickasaw Nation
  • Choctaw Nation
  • Citizens Band of Potawatomi
  • Comanche Nation
  • Delaware Nations in western and eastern parts of Oklahoma.
  • Eastern Shawnee Nation: The United Remnant Band lives in Ohio.
  • Ft. Sill Apache Nation
  • Iowa Nation of Oklahoma
  • Kaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Kialegee Tribal Town
  • Kickapoo Nation
  • Kiowa Nation
  • Loyal Shawnee Nation
  • Miami Nation
  • Modoc Nation
  • Muscogee (Creek) Nation: This includes the historic Thlopthlocco Tribal Town.
  • Osage Nation
  • Otoe-Missouria Nation
  • Ottawa Nation
  • Pawnee Nation
  • Peoria Nation
  • Ponca Nation
  • Quapaw Nation
  • Sac & Fox Nation
  • Seminole Nation: Try their related recipes.
  • Seneca-Cayuga Nations
  • Tonkawa Nation
  • United Keetoowah Band Of Cherokees
  • Wichita Nation
  • Wyandotte Nation
  • Yuchi Nation

Commanche Code Talkers

4th Signal Company, WWII. The Code talkers of many Native American Nations helped the USA and the Allies to win the war, using their own languages that the Axis Powers could not translate.
4th Signal Company, WWII. The Code talkers of many Native American Nations helped the USA and the Allies to win the war, using their own languages that the Axis Powers could not translate.
Comanche Mother and Child. Edward S. Curtis (1868 - 1952)
Comanche Mother and Child. Edward S. Curtis (1868 - 1952)
Apache Wigwam
Apache Wigwam | Source

Map of Native Reservations Across Texas

A
Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation:
Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, Livingston-New Willard, TX 77351, USA

get directions

B
Texas Band of Traditional Kickapoo, Eagle Pass TX:
Eagle Pass, TX 78852, USA

get directions

C
Tiguas's Pueblo: Ysleta Station, El Paso TX:
820 Kastrin\El Arco (1811), El Paso, TX 79907, USA

get directions

Texas Reservations: The Alabama-Coushatta Reservation lies east of Houston, and the Tiguas and the Kickapoo reserves both lie in Rio Grande Valley.

Native American Indian Reservations in Texas

  • Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas; Rt 3 Box 640, Livingston TX 77351
  • Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; HC1 Box 9700, Eagle Pass TX 78852. Today, the Kickapoo make up three separate nations and their ancestors all came from Wisconsin after the War of 1812 - 1814.
  • Ysleta del Sur Pueblo; PO Box 17579, Ysleta Station, El Paso TX 79917

Migration

The original nations we have found thus far who have lived in Texas include:

  • Apache tribes
  • Bidai
  • Coahuilteco and Carrizo tribes
  • Caddo
  • Comanche tribe
  • Jumano, Suma, Piro, and other eastern Pueblos
  • KarankawaKiowa
  • Kitsai
  • Tawakoni tribe
  • Tonkawa
  • Wichita

Other nations that were driven into Texas by Euorpean settlements include:

  • Alabama
  • Coushatta
  • Kickapoo
  • Tigua Pueblo

Comanche doll and horse and Navajo doll and horse from the 1880s - Smithsonian Institution.
Comanche doll and horse and Navajo doll and horse from the 1880s - Smithsonian Institution. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2007 Patty Inglish MS

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