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Native American Tribes of Nebraska

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

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American Indians in Nebraska

Did you know the name "Nebraska" is a Siouan Indian word? It comes from the native name for Platte River, which is Nibthaska (in Omaha-Ponca) or Nibrathka (in Otoe). These words mean "flat river." The Omahas, Poncas and Otoes are not the only native people of this region, however.

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

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*The Arapaho tribe
*The Cheyenne tribe
*The Kansa tribe
*The Lakota and Dakota tribes
*The Missouria tribe
*The Omaha tribe
*The Otoe tribe
*The Pawnee tribe
*The Ponca tribe

Other Indian tribes driven into Nebraska after Europeans arrived included:

*The Sac and Fox tribe
*The Winnebago tribe

There are four federally recognized Indian tribes in Nebraska today.

Here are the addresses of Nebraska's Indian reservations:

1 Omaha Tribe of Nebraska:
PO Box 368
Macy, NE 60839

2 Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska:
PO Box 687
Winnebago, NE 68071

3 Ponca Tribe of Nebraska:
PO Box 288
Niobrara, NE 68760

4 Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska:
425 Frazier Ave N. Suite 2
Niobrara, NE 68760

Teaching and learning activities about Nebraska Indians:

Feel free to print these out to use at school!

*Nebraska Tribes Word Search: Printable puzzle hiding the names of Nebraska's Indian tribes.
*Nebraska Language Greetings: Learn to say "hello" in several Native Nebraska languages.
*Nebraska Native Animals: Learn the Native American names of Nebraska animals.
*Nebraska Indian Facts for Kids: Answers to frequently asked questions about the tribes of Nebraska.
    We currently have pages for the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Dakota and Lakota Sioux, Ho-Chunk, Kanza, Missouria, Omaha,
    Otoe, Pawnee, Ponca, and Sauk-Fox tribes.

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

*An Unspeakable Sadness: Dispossession of the Nebraska Indians: Excellent history book on Nebraska Indian history in general.
*Nebraska Indian Dictionary: Introducing Nebraska's Native American history and culture to kids.
*Encyclopedia of Nebraska Indians: Thorough reference book about the Native American tribes of Nebraska.
*Mari Sandoz's Native Nebraska: Images and descriptions of Native American life in Nebraska, particularly the Cheyenne and Sioux.
*The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader: Essays on the military history of Nebraska's Indian tribes, especially the Sioux and Pawnee.
*Standing Bear and the Ponca Chiefs: Narrative history of the Ponca tribe.
*Susan La Flesche Picotte, MD: Biography of the dynamic Omaha leader and reformer.
*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 Nebraska state:

*Nebraska Indian Community College:
     Nebraska intertribal school with campuses in Macy, Niobrara and South Sioux City.
*Indian Affairs Nebraska:
     Government site on the Native American tribes of Nebraska.
*Nebraska Reservations:
     Map and profiles of the Nebraska Indian tribes.

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