Kansas Indian Tribes

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The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of Kansas. If the tribe name is in bold, then Kansas is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to Kansas and provide a link to the main tribal page if available.

  • Apache Indians, see Jicarilla.
  • Arapaho Indians. The Arapaho ranged at one time over much of the western part of this State.
  • Cherokee Indians. By the terms of the Treaty of New Echota, the Cherokee obtained title to lands in southeastern Kansas, part in one block known as the “Neutral land,” and the rest in a strip along the southern boundary of the State. These were re-ceded to the United States Government in 1866.
  • Cheyenne Indians. Like the Arapaho they at one time ranged over the western part of the State.
  • Chippewa Indians. In 1836 two bands of Chippewa living in Michigan and known as the Swan Creek and Black River bands were given a tract of territory on Osage River, Kans. They arrived in 1839. In 1866 they agreed to remove to the Cherokee country in what is now Oklahoma and to unite with that tribe. A small number of families of Chippewa living west of Lake Michigan accompanied the Prairie Potawatomi to southwestern Iowa, but they were either absorbed by the Potawatomi or subsequently separated from them.
  • Comanche Indians. They ranged over the western part of the State. (See Texas.)
  • Delaware Indians. A strip of land in northeastern Kansas was granted to the Delaware in 1829 and was again surrendered by treaties made in 1854, 1860, and 1886. In 1867 they agreed to take up their residence with the Cherokee in Oklahoma. Four sections of land were, however, confirmed to a body of Munsee (“Christian Indians”), who in turn sold it in 1857. This sale was confirmed by the United States Government in 1858, and a new home was found for these Indians among the Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa whom they accompanied to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma in 1866. Nevertheless, a few Munsee have remained in the State. (See New Jersey.)
  • Fox Indians. The Foxes lived for a time on a reservation in eastern Kansas but about 1859 returned to Iowa.
  • Illinois Indians. The remnants of these people were assigned a reservation about the present Paola in 1832. In 1867 they removed to the northeastern corner of the present Oklahoma, where they received lands which had formerly belonged to the Quapaw. (See Illinois.) Iowa. This tribe was placed on a reservation in northeastern Kansas
    in 1836, and part of them continued in this State and were allotted land here in severalty, while the rest went to Oklahoma. (See Iowa.)
  • Iroquois Indians. Lands were set aside in Kansas in 1838 for some Iroquois, part of the Munsee, and remnants of Mahican and southern New England Indians but only a few of the Indians involved moved to them. They were later declared forfeited, and the rights of 32 bona fide Indian settlers were purchased in 1873. (See Seneca and also New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.)
  • Jicarilla Indians. This was one of the so-called Apache tribes. They lived in Colorado and New Mexico and ranged over parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. (See Colorado.)
  • Kansa Indians
  • Kickapoo Indians. A reservation was granted this tribe in southeastern Kansas in 1832, and though it was progressively reduced in area, part of them have continued to live there down to the present time.
  • Kiowa Indians
  • Kiowa Apache Indians
  • Missouri Indians. The remnant of this tribe accompanied the Oto when they lived in this State. (See Missouri.)
  • Munsee Indians. A band of Munsee or “Christian Indians” owned land in Kansas between 1854 and 1859. (See Delaware in New Jersey, etc.)
  • Osage Indians. The southeastern part of Kansas was claimed by the Osage and was ceded by them to the United States Government in treaties made in 1825, 1865, and 1870. (See Missouri.)
  • Oto Indians. The Oto were on the eastern border of Kansas several times during their later history. (See Nebraska.)
  • Ottawa Indians. In 1831 two bands of Ottawa were granted lands on Marais des Cygnes or Osage River. They relinquished these in 1846 and in 1862 agreed to allotment of land in severalty, giving up their remaining lands. Further treaties regarding these were made in 1867 and 1872. A few families of Ottawa accompanied the Prairie Potawatomi when they removed from Wisconsin to Iowa, but they were soon absorbed or else scattered. Ottawa bands called Ottawa of Blanchard’s Fork and Ottawa of Roche de Boeuf occupied lands in Kansas between 1832 and 1865 when they moved to Oklahoma. (See Michigan.)
  • Pawnee Indians. A part of the Pawnee occupied the valley of the Republican Fork of Kansas River. (See Nebraska.)
  • Potawatomi Indians. In 1837 the United States Government entered into a treaty with five bands of Potawatomi living in the State of Indiana by which it was agreed to convey to them by patent a tract of country on Osage River, southwest of the Missouri, in the present State of Kansas. This was set apart the same year and the Indians, the Potawatomi of the Woods, moved into it in 1840, but they ceded it back in 1846 and were given a reserve between the Shawnee and the Delaware, in the present Shawnee County, which they occupied in 1847. By a series of treaties, culminating in the Treaty of Chicago, 1833, the Potawatomi west of Lake Michigan surrendered their lands and received a large tract in southwestern Iowa. They were accompanied by a few Chippewa and Ottawa. In 1846 this reserve was re-ceded to the United States Government and in 1847-48 the Indians, now known as the Prairie Potawatomi, moved to lands in Kansas just east of the lands of the Potawatomi of the Woods. Michigan Potawatomi did not come to this place until 1850. About the end of the Civil War some of the Prairie band moved back to Wisconsin but the greater part of them remained and accepted lands in severalty. In 1869 the Potawatomi of the Woods began a movement to secure lands in Oklahoma, and by 1871 most of them had gone thither. (See Michigan.)
  • Quapaw Indians. Between 1833 and 1867 lands in the southeastern tip of Kansas belonged to their reserve in Indian Territory (Oklahoma), but in the latter year they ceded this back to the Government.
  • Sauk Indians. After leaving Iowa, the Sauk and Fox Indians occupied a reserve in the eastern part of Kansas, but about 1859 the Foxes returned to Iowa, and in 1867 the Sauk ceded their Kansas territories and moved to Oklahoma.
  • Seneca Indians. Seneca Indians were joint owners with other tribes of land in the extreme southwestern part of Kansas. They ceded this to the United States Government in 1867. (See New York.)
  • Shawnee Indians. In 1825 the Shawnee residing in Missouri received a grant of land along the south side of Kansas River, west of the boundary of Missouri. In 1831 they were joined by another body of Shawnee who had formerly lived at Wapaghkonnetta and on Hog Creek, Ohio. In 1854 nearly all of this land was re-ceded to the United States Government and the tribe moved to Indian Territory, the present Oklahoma.
  • Wyandot Indians. The Wyandot purchased land in eastern Kansas on Missouri River from the Delaware in 1843 and parted with it again in 1850. A few Wyandot also held title to land along with other tribes on the border of Oklahoma and re-ceded it along with them in 1867. (See Ohio.)


MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 November 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/kansas-indian-tribes.htm - Last updated on Jun 16th, 2012


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