There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Kansas. The names of the Kansas tribes included the Arapaho, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Comanche, Delaware, Kansa, Kiowa, Missouri, Osage, Otoe, Fox, Pawnee, Illinois and Iroquois.
Kansas - Indian Territory
Indian Territory was a vast area of U.S. federal territory on the Great Plains reserved for Indians from the 1830s to the 1880s. In the 1870's the deliberate great slaughter of the northern bison herds began designed to prevent the Native Indians continuing the Great Plains lifestyle. Indian Territory eventually became the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. By 1907, when Oklahoma was admitted as a state, Indian Territory ceased to exist.
Fast Facts about the History of Kansas Indians
The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Kansas resulted in the adoption of the Woodlands culture and some adopted the Great Plains Indians culture.
- Name of State: Kansas
- Meaning of State name: From the Kansas River which was named by the French after the Dakota Sioux Indian word "Kanze" meaning "south wind."
- Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Kansas: Hilly plains in the east; central prairie and hills; high plains in the west
- Culture adopted by Kansas Indians: Woodlands culture and some adopted the Great Plains culture
- Languages: Muskogean
- Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
- Types of housing, homes or shelters: Tepees, Chickees, Wigwams (aka Birchbark houses) and Longhouses
History Timeline of the Kansas Indians
- 10,000 BC: The first indigenous people were of the Paleo-Indian culture who lived in caves or were Nomadic Hunters
- 1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming
- 1541: Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (1510-1554) explores Kansas
- 1600: Kansa and Osage Indians arrive in Kansas
- 1724: 1724 French explorer Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont (1698-1725) claims the region for France
- 1762: France lose Kansas to Spain
- 1763: Treaty of Paris
- 1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.
- 1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
- 1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land
- 1804: 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition
- 1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
- 1825: Treaties were negotiated between the US and the Kansa and Osage tribes for a cession of Kansa-Osage land onto which eastern Indians could be moved
- 1830: Indian Removal Act
- 1832: Department of Indian Affairs established
- 1834: The First Dragoon Expedition of 1834 (also called the Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition or Pawnee expedition) was the first official contact between the US government and the Plains Indians including the Pawnee and Comanche
- 1857: Battle of Solomon Fork
- 1858: 1858-1859 - Wichita expedition in Indian Territory
- 1860: Kiowa and Comanche expedition, Indian Territory. To remove the Kiowa and Comanche from the area of the Arkansas River.
- 1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.
- 1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
- 1863: 1863-1869 War against the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche Indians in Kansas, Nebraska (Territory), Colorado (Territory) and Oklahoma Indian Territory
- 1864: General Samuel R. Curtis was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas to subdue the hostility of the Indians
- 1867: Kidder Massacre - Cheyenne and Sioux Indians ambushed and killed a 2nd US Cavalry detachment Beaver Creek, Kansas
- 1867: The Battle of Beaver Creek and the Battle of Beecher Island
- 1867: Medicine Lodge Creek Treaty negotiated in Kansas, results in bands of Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapahoe Plains Indians moving to reservations in Indian Territory.
- 1868: The last Indian raid in Kansas. The Cheyenne Raid led by Dull Knife aka Morning Star
- 1874: 1874-1875 - Campaign against Kiowa, Cheyenne and Comanche Indians in Indian Territory
- 1878: The last battle to take place in Kansas was the Battle of Punished Woman Fork in Scott County on September 27, 1878.
- 1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
- 1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed
Dull Knife aka Morning Star
History of Kansas Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Kansas had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Kansas Indians.