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Native American Tribes of Iowa

Welcome to our Iowa State Facts section, part of an educational project designed to provide information about indigenous people in different U.S. states. Follow the links to the right of our tribal map for more information about the language, culture and history of each Iowa tribe, or scroll below the map for Iowa Indian activities including a wordsearch, fact sheets, and words from the Native American languages of Iowa. Feel free to print any of these materials out for classroom use!

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American Indians in Iowa

Did you know the name "Iowa" is a Siouan Indian word? It is one of the tribal names of the Ioway people, meaning "sleepy ones." The Ioway were not the only native people of this region, however.

The original inhabitants of the area that is now Iowa included:

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*The Dakota Sioux tribe
*The Illinois (Illini) tribe
*The Ioway tribe
*The Missouria tribe
*The Otoe tribe

Other Indian tribes driven into Iowa after Europeans arrived included:

*The Sac and Fox tribe (Mesquakie)

There is one federally recognized Indian tribe in Iowa today.

Here are the addresses of Iowa's Indian reservations:

1 The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi:
3137 F Avenue
Tama, IA 52339

Teaching and learning activities about Iowa Indians:

Feel free to print these out to use at school!

*Iowa Tribes Word Search: Printable puzzle hiding the names of Iowa's Indian tribes.
*Iowa Language Greetings: Learn to say "hello" in several Native Iowa languages.
*Iowa Native Animals: Learn the Native American names of Iowa animals.
*Iowa Indian Facts for Kids: Answers to frequently asked questions about the tribes of Iowa.
    We currently have pages for the Ioway, Otoe, MIssouria, Illini, Sioux, and Meskwaki tribes.

Recommended books about Iowa Native Americans
(Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links)

*The Worlds Between Two Rivers:
   Essays on Iowa's Native American history written by Mesquakie, Sioux, and Iowa Indian authors.
*Iowa Native Americans:
   Book on Native Americans in Iowa for grade-school kids.
*The Indians of Iowa:
   A more in-depth book on Iowa Indian history and culture.
*Encyclopedia of Iowa Indians:
   Thorough reference book about the Native American tribes of Iowa.
*The Ioway Indians:
   Good book on the history and traditions of the Iowa tribe.
*Lost Nation: The Ioway:
   Compelling DVD about the history and forced travels of the Ioway tribe.
*The Illinois Confederacy of Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Oklahoma:
   History and culture of the Illini, written for younger readers.
*Indian Artifacts of the Midwest:
   Collection of photographs of prehistoric paleo-Indian arrowheads and other artifacts.
*Uses of Plants by the Indians of the Missouri River Region
   Handbook of herbs, food crops, and plant lore among the prairie tribes.

Other resources about American Indian history, culture and society in Iowa state:

*Circle of First Nations of Central Iowa:
   Organization promoting Iowa Native American heritage, with information on their annual powwow.
*Iowa Indian History:
   Profiles of Native American tribes who lived in Iowa or passed through on their forced travels to Kansas and Oklahoma.
*Meskwaki Indian Casino:
   The casino's homepage also has historical information and photos about this Indian tribe of Iowa.
*Iowa Archaeology:
   History of the Iowa Native Americans from the Paleo-Indians through the present day.

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