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Native Americans

People standing in front of moundIndiana is the ancestral homeland of many federally recognized Native American tribes including the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma, the Delaware Tribe of Indians, the Eastern Shawnee of Oklahoma, the Forest County Potawatomi Community, the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, the Osage Nation, the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Quapaw Tribe of Indians, the Shawnee Tribe, the Wyandotte Nation and others. These tribes were removed from the state through a series of treaties in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Citizens from more than 100 different tribes and cultural groups live in Indiana today. They have vibrant cultures, traditions, and languages.

Many federally recognized tribes have Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPO) that consult on federal undertakings occurring in the Indiana as part of the Section 106 process under the National Historic Preservation Act. Even with forced removal several tribes maintain a strong physical presence in Indiana:

  • The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma have a Cultural Resource Extension Office in Fort Wayne. Visit the Myaamia Nation website to learn more.
  • The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi have trust land with service areas and a casino in South Bend. More information on the Pokagon Band can be found on the Pok√©gnek Bod√©wadmik Nation website.
  • The Miami Nation of Indiana are not federally recognized but have a long tradition in Indiana. The tribal headquarters is in Peru, Indiana. You can learn much more about the Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana by visiting their website.

To learn about Native Americans throughout the United States and Canada, visit the American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association, for bibliographies, oral history projects, and other programs. The American Indian Resources page provides links to resources about Native Americans, both past and present. One of our partners in preservation, the Indiana Historical Bureau, provides information on its website regarding Native Americans living in our state. The State of Indiana also has the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission, which studies and makes recommendations to appropriate federal, state and local governmental agencies in areas of concern to our state's native people and communities.

At the federal level, the Bureau of Indian Affairs offers information about services available from the federal government, programs, and resources for and about Native Americans.

Various Indiana museums and organizations discuss the history and impact that Native Americans have had not only on Indiana, but also United States history.

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