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Native American Tribes of Kansas

Welcome to our Kansas 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 Kansas tribe, or scroll below the map for Kansas Indian activities including a wordsearch, fact sheets, and words from the Native American languages of Kansas. Feel free to print any of these materials out for classroom use!

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American Indians in Kansas

Did you know the name "Kansas" is a Siouan Indian word? It comes from the tribal name Kansa, which means "south wind people." The Kansa Indians were not the only native people of this region, however.

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

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*The Arapaho tribe
*The Comanche tribe
*The Kansa tribe
*The Kiowa tribe
*The Missouri tribe
*The Osage tribe
*The Otoe tribe
*The Pawnee tribe

The Cheyenne Indians, close allies of the Arapahos, also occasionally ranged into what is now northwestern Kansas, and the Wichita Indians expanded into the southern part of the state.

Indian tribes relocated into Kansas by the US government:

Kansas, like Oklahoma, was originally allotted as Indian territory. This was part of the American policy of Indian Removal. Some eastern and midwestern tribes signed treaties agreeing to move onto reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas in exchange for undisputed ownership of the new lands. Other tribes refused or resisted and were forcibly moved into Kansas by the US Army.

*The Cherokee tribe
*The Chippewa tribe
*The Delaware tribe
*The Illini
*The Iowa tribe
*The Kickapoo tribe
*The Potawatomi tribe
*The Sac and Fox tribe
*The Seneca tribe
*The Shawnee tribe
*The Wyandotte tribe

Many Kansas Indians, including all the tribes originally native to the area, had to go through a second removal to Oklahoma in the late 19th century. They are still living there today.

There are four federally recognized Indian tribes in Kansas today.

Here are the addresses of Kansas' Indian reservations:

1 Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska:
Route 1, Box 58A
White Cloud, KS 66094

2 Kickapoo Tribe of Indians in Kansas:
PO Box 271
Horton, KS 66439

3 Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation:
14880 K Road
Mayetta, KS 66439

4 Sac and Fox Nation:
RR 1 Box 60
Reserve, KS 66434

Teaching and learning activities about Kansas Indians:

Feel free to print these out to use at school!

*Kansas Tribes Word Search: Printable school puzzle hiding the names of Kansas's Indian tribes.
*Kansas Language Greetings: Learn to say "hello" in several Native Kansas languages.
*Kansas Native Animals: Learn the Native American names of Kansas animals.
*Kansas Indian Facts for Kids: Answers to frequently asked questions about the tribes of Kansas.
    We currently have pages for the Arapaho, Kaw, Comanches, Kiowas, Osage, Pawnee, Wichita, Iowa,
    Kickapoo, Otoe, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Pottawatomie, Cherokees, Chippewas, and Cheyennes.

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

*Kansas Indians:
   Introducing Kansas Native American history and culture to kids.
*The Enduring Indians of Kansas:
   A more in-depth book about the history and culture of the Kansas Indians.
*Encyclopedia of Kansas Indians:
   Thorough reference book about the Native American tribes of Kansas.
*The End of Indian Kansas:
   Good history book on the Indian Removals into and out of Kansas.
*Indians of Kansas:
   History of the Native Americans of Kansas and their interactions with Euro-Americans.
*Kansas Archaeology
   Book on the ancient history of prehistoric Kansas Indian peoples.
*Indian Place Names of Kansas
   The native etymology of present-day place-names in Kansas.
*The Kansa Indians:
   History of the Kansa tribe from 1673-1873.
*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 Kansas state:

*Plath Community Resource Center: Serving the American Indian community in Kansas.
*Indian Reservations in Kansas: Kansas Indian reservation map from 1848.
*Indians of Kansas: Online book of Kansan Indian history.
*Kansas Plains and Emigrant Tribes: Bibliography of articles on the Indian tribes of Kansas.
*Gathering of Nations Pictures: Monchosia: Picture of a Kansas Indian chief, and history of the delegation of Kansas tribes.

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