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Further Information on Native Americans in Indiana

Native Americans in Indiana

American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population of Indiana as of 2010: 55,767 (Up 22% since 2000) (Source: U.S. Census Bureau; includes persons of mixed race).

There are many tribal members of federally recognized tribes that live in Indiana, approximately 25,000.

At the current date, there are two tribes that have land in Indiana.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi received a small portion of their land back from their removal in Indiana. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi is a federally recognized tribe of 573 federally recognized tribes in the United States. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi on November 18, 2016, received 166 acres of land in trust in South Bend, Indiana (

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi were party to 11 treaties with the federal government, with the major land cession being under the 1833 Treaty of Chicago. During the ‘Indian Removals’, many Potawatomi bands were moved west, but Chief Leopold Pokagon negotiated to keep his Potawatomi band of 280 people in southwestern Michigan. They were the only Potawatomi band who did not remove to the west of the Mississippi River.

The second tribe that has land in Indiana is the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. The tribe was given land to put a Cultural Extension Office for their tribal members living in Indiana to attend specific gatherings, ceremonies and education events at this office located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. [Above information from the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission - INAIAC: Home]

  • Native American Tribes Living in Indiana Prior to Removal

    Miami A majority of Native Americans living in Indiana belonged to the Miami tribe. The Miami tribe was part of the Algonquian group of Native Americans. The Algonquian group also included the Delaware, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Shawnee tribes.
    Indiana's Native Americans
    From the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites

  • The Myaamia (Miami)

    From the Miami Websites: About - and History – Aacimotaatiiyankwi
    In the Miami language, the Miami Tribe's name for itself is Myaamia, which means "the Downstream People." The story of the Myaamia begins at a place we call Saakiiweeyonki,
    near where the St. Joseph's River empties into Lake Michigan.

    From the village at Saakiiweeyonki, they descended into the Waapaahšiki Siipiiwi (Wabash River) valley building communities at major confluences and portages from Kiihkayonki (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) downstream to Aciipihkahkionki (Vincennes, Indiana). Together these villages maintained a common language, hunting, and farming cultural practices. They often came together to collectively defend themselves and negotiate peace with neighboring tribes and Europeans.

    Myaamionki map

    Map 1: Myaamionki originally constructed by Brett Governanti.[3] Village sites by George Ironstrack from
    Walking Myaamionki – Aacimotaatiiyankwi

    For more information: The Myaamia Center [Myaamia Center - Miami University (], a Miami Tribe of Oklahoma initiative located within an academic setting at Miami University in Oxford, OH, serves the needs of the Myaamia people, Miami University, and partner communities through research, education, and outreach that promote Myaamia language, culture, knowledge, and values.

  • šaawanwaki (Shawnee)

    Tekoomsē (Tecumseh) and Tenskwatawa (The Prophet) were Shawnee brothers who mobilized the American Indians in the Northwest Territory to fight the Americans. The Brother's father was killed in battle against American colonists in 1774. Their older brother Cheeseekau, a noted war chief, died fighting Americans in 1792.

    Major-General Isaac Brock, British commander of Upper Canada wrote about Tekoomsē:

    A more sagacious or a more gallant warrior does not, I believe, exist. He was the admiration of everyone who conversed with him.

    Map of Shawnee towns in the ‘Ohio Region’ from 1768 to 1808

    Map of Shawnee towns in the ‘Ohio Region’ from 1768 to 1808, indicating where Tecumseh lived.  
    Kevin1776 CC BY-SA 4.0 - Own work.
    Sources: Tanner, Helen Hornbeck, ed. (1987). Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press), for town locations and dates of destruction.
    Sugden, John (1997). Tecumseh: A Life (New York: Henry Holt and Company), for years of Tecumseh's residences.

  • Pokagon Band (Potawatomi)

    federally recognized Potawatomi-speaking tribe based in southwestern Michigan and northeastern Indiana. Tribal government functions are in Dowagiac, Michigan. They occupy reservation lands in a total of ten counties in the area.  The Pokagon are descendants of the residents of allied Potawatomi villages that were historically located along the St. JosephPaw Paw and Kalamazoo rivers.  They were the only Potawatomi band (280 people) - based on negotiations by – Chief Leopold Pokagon - to gain permission from the United States government to remain in Michigan after Indian removal in the 1830s.

    Pokagon News Article

    The Herald-Palladium Benton Harbor, Michigan · Thursday, September 22, 1994
    The Pokagons, 1683-1983: Catholic Potawatomi Indians of the St. Joseph River valley

    A reference on the Potowatomi - By   Clifton, James A Published 1984

Well Known Native American Leaders in Indiana

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