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Native American Tribes of Ohio

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

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American Indians in Ohio

Did you know the name "Ohio" is an Iroquoian Indian word? It came from the Seneca name for the Ohio River, Ohiyo, which means "it is beautiful." The Senecas were not the original inhabitants of Ohio, however. The Indian tribes of the Ohio Valley were decimated by smallpox and other European diseases before the Europeans had even met them, and Algonquian and Iroquoian tribes from neighboring regions moved into Ohio as European colonization forced them from their original homes. Only a few of the tribes who were living in Ohio before 1492 still survive today.

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

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*The Erie tribe
*The Kickapoo tribe
*The Shawnee tribe

Other Indian tribes who migrated into Ohio after Europeans arrived included:

*The Delaware tribe
*The Miami tribe
*The Ottawa tribe
*The Ohio Seneca tribe (Mingo)
*The Wyandot tribe

There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Ohio today.

Most Native Americans were forced to leave Ohio during the Indian Removals of the 1800's. These tribes are not extinct, but except for the descendants of Ohio Indians who escaped from Removal, they do not live in Ohio anymore. They were moved to Indian reservations in Oklahoma instead. If you click on the link for each tribe above, you can find more information about them.

Non-recognized Indian tribes and communities in Ohio include:

*Munsee Delaware Indian Nation of Ohio:
70463 Hopewell Rd
Cambridge, OH 43725

*Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band:
PO Box 162
Dayton, OH 45401

Teaching and learning activities about Ohio Native Americans:

Feel free to print these out for classroom use!

*Ohio Tribes Word Search: Printable puzzle hiding the names of Ohio's Indian tribes.
*Ohio Language Greetings: Learn to say "hello" in several Native Ohio languages.
*Ohio Native Animals: Learn the Native American names of Ohio animals.
*Ohio Indian Facts for Kids: Answers to frequently asked questions about the tribes of Ohio.
    We currently have pages for the Kickapoo, Shawnee, Miami, Seneca, Ottawa, Wyandot, and Delaware Indian tribes.

Recommended books about Ohio Native Americans:

*Ohio's First Peoples:
   Good book on Ohio Indian culture and history.
*Ohio Native Americans:
   Simple book introducing Ohio's Indian history and culture to kids.
*Ohio Native Peoples:
   More in-depth book about Ohio Indian tribes for kids.
*Encyclopedia of Ohio Indians:
   Thorough reference book about the Native American tribes of Ohio.
*A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples:
   Book on the culture and history of Ohio Indian tribes in the 18th century.
*Ohio Archaeology:
   An illustrated book on Ohio's ancient American Indian cultures.
*The First Peoples of Ohio and Indiana: Native American History Resource Book
   A good book on the Native American tribes of Ohio and Indiana.
*The Ohio Frontier:
   History of the Ohio Indian Wars and removals of the 1700's and 1800's.
*Indian Artifacts of the Midwest:
   Collection of photographs of prehistoric paleo-Indian arrowheads and other artifacts.

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

*Mound Builders:
     A good article on the pre-Columbian Native American people of the Ohio Valley.

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