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Native American Tribes of Missouri

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

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American Indians in Missouri

Did you know the name "Missouri" is a Siouan Indian word? It comes from the tribal name Missouria, which means "big canoe people." The Missouri Indians were not the only native people of this region, however.

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

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*The Chickasaw Indians
*The Illinois
*The Ioway Indians
*The Missouria Indians
*The Osage Indians
*The Otoe Indians
*The Quapaw Indians

Other Indian tribes who later passed through Missouri on their forced migrations westward include:

*The Cherokee Indians
*The Delaware Indians
*The Kickapoo Indians
*The Sac and Fox Indians
*The Shawnee Indians

There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Missouri today.

Most Native Americans were forced to leave Missouri during the Indian Removals of the 1800's. These tribes are not extinct, but except for the descendants of Missouri Indians who escaped from Removal, they do not live in Missouri 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.

Other Indian tribes, bands and communities remaining in Missouri today include:

*Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory:
1012 Old Highway 63 N
Columbia, MO 65201

Teaching and learning activities about Missouri Native Americans:

Feel free to print these out to use at school!

*Missouri Tribes Word Search: Printable puzzle hiding the names of Missouri's Indian tribes.
*Missouri Language Greetings: Learn to say "hello" in several Native Missouri languages.
*Missouri Native Animals: Learn the Native American names of Missouri animals.
*Write Your Name In Cherokee: Directions for using the Cherokee writing system to spell English names.
*Missouri Indian Facts for Kids: Answers to frequently asked questions about the tribes of Missouri.
    We currently have pages for the Chickasaw, Illinois, Ioway, Missouria, Osage, Otoe, Quapaw, Cherokee, and Shawnee tribes.

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

*Missouri Indians:
   Introducing Missouri's Native American history and culture to kids.
*The Osage in Missouri: * The Ioway in Missouri: * Trail of Tears Across Missouri:
    A good series of history books about the Native American tribes of Missouri.
*Encyclopedia of Missouri Indians:
   Thorough reference book about the Native Americans of Missouri.
*Indians and Archaeology of Missouri:
   A good introductory book on the prehistoric Indian tribes of Missouri.
*The Prehistory of Missouri:
   Another good archaeology book on ancient Missouri Indians.
*The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri:
   Interesting illustrated book on the indigenous artwork of ancient Missouri.
*Uses of Plants by the Indians of the Missouri River Region:
   Handbook of herbs, food crops, and plant lore among the prairie tribes.
*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 Missouri state:

*Native-American Cultural Periods in Missouri: Archaeological information about pre-Columbian Indian sites in Missouri.
*Missouri History: Native Americans: Article on Missouri's American Indian heritage.

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