Welcome to our Tennessee 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 Tennessee tribe, or scroll below the map for Tennessee Indian activities including a wordsearch,
fact sheets, and words from the Native American languages
of Tennessee. Feel free to print any of these materials out for classroom use!
American Indians in Tennessee
Did you know the word "Tennessee" comes from a Cherokee Indian name? It
comes from Tanasi, which was the name of a major Cherokee town in southeastern Tennessee.
The Cherokee Indians were not the only native people of this region, however.
The original inhabitants of the area that is now Tennessee included:
There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Tennessee today.
Most Native Americans were forced to leave Tennessee during the Indian Removals of the 1800's. These tribes are not extinct, but except for
the descendants of Tennessee Indians who escaped from Removal, they do not live in Tennessee 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.
Unrecognized Indian tribes, bands, and communities remaining in Tennessee today include: