Kickapoo: Wikis


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Total population
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Spanish, English, Kickapoo


Native American Church, Christianity (many Catholic, some Protestant) and tribal religious practices;

Related ethnic groups

other Algonquian peoples

The Kickapoos (Kickapoo: Kiikaapoa or Kiikaapoi) are an Algonquian-speaking Native American tribes. According to the Anishinaabeg, the name "Kickapoo" (Giiwigaabaw in the Anishinaabe language and its Kickapoo cognate Kiwikapawa) means "Stands here and there". It referred to the tribe's migratory patterns. The name can also mean "wanderer". This interpretation is contested and generally believed to be a folk etymology.

There are three recognized Kickapoo tribes remaining in the United States: Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. Another band resides in the Mexican state of Coahuila. There is also a small community in Douglas, Arizona. The former two groups are politically associated with the Texas band. Others live in small groups throughout the western United States. Around 3,000 people claim to be tribal members.



The earliest European contact with the Kickapoo tribe occurred during the La Salle Expeditions into the Illinois Country in the late 17th century, as the French set up remote fur trading posts throughout the region, including on Wabash River. The Kickapoo at that time inhabited a large territory along the Wabash in the area of modern Terre Haute, Indiana. They were confederated with the larger Wabash Confederacy, that included the Piankeshaw to their south, the Wea to their north, and the powerful Miami Tribe, to their east.

As white settlers moved into the region beginning in the early 19th century, the Kickapoo participated in several treaties, including the Treaty of Vincennes, the Treaty of Grouseland, and the Treaty of Fort Wayne. They sold most of their lands to the United States and moved north to settle among the Wea. Rising tensions between the regional tribes and the United States led to Tecumseh's War in 1811. The Kickapoo were one of Tecumseh's closest allies. Many Kickapoo warriors participated in the Battle of Tippecanoe and the subsequent War of 1812.

The close of the war led to a change of Indian policy in the Indiana Territory, and later the state of Indiana. American leaders began to advocate the removal of the tribes to land west of the Mississippi River. The Kickapoo were among the first tribes to leave Indiana. They accepted land in Kansas and an annual subsidy in exchange for leaving the state.


Kickapoo people building a Winter House in the town of Nacimiento Coahuila, México, 2008

Kickapoo speak an Algonquian language closely related to that of the Sauk and Fox.

Kickapoo tribes and communities

There are three federally recognized Kickapoo communities in the United States: one in Kansas, one in Texas, and the third in Oklahoma.


Kickapoo Indian Reservation of Kansas

The Kickapoo Indian Reservation is located at 39°40′51″N 95°36′41″W / 39.68083°N 95.61139°W / 39.68083; -95.61139 in the northeastern part of the state in parts of three counties, Brown, Jackson, and Atchison. It has a land area of 612.203 square kilometres (236.373 sq mi) and a resident population of 4,419 as of the 2000 census. The largest community on the reservation is the city of Horton. The other communities are:

Kickapoo Indian Reservation of Texas

The Kickapoo Indian Reservation of Texas is located at 28°36′37″N 100°26′19″W / 28.61028°N 100.43861°W / 28.61028; -100.43861 on the Rio Grande River on the U.S.-Mexico border in western Maverick County, just south of the city of Eagle Pass, as part of the community of Rosita South. It has a land area of 0.4799 square kilometres (118.6 acres) and a 2000 census population of 420 persons. The Texas Indian Commission officially recognized the tribe in 1977.[1]

There are undetermined numbers of other Kickapoo in Maverick County, Texas, who constitute the "South Texas Subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma". That band owns 917.79 acres (3.7142 km2) of non-reservation land in Maverick County, primarily to the north of Eagle Pass. It has an office in that city.[2]

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

A Kickapoo wickiup, Sac and Fox Agency, Oklahoma, ca. 1880.

After being expelled from the Republic of Texas, many Kickapoo moved south to Mexico, but the population of two villages settled in Indian Territory. One village settled within the Chickasaw Nation and the other within the Muscogee Creek Nation. These Kickapoo were granted their own reservation in 1883. The reservation was short-lived, because in 1893 their tribal lands were broken up by the Dawes Act. The tribe's government was dismantled by the Curtis Act of 1898, which encouraged assimilation.

In 1936, the tribe organized as the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act.[3]

Today the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma is headquartered in McLoud, Oklahoma. Their tribal jurisdictional area is in Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, and Lincoln Counties. They have 2,719 enrolled tribal members.[4]


  1. ^ Miller, Tom. On the Border: Portraits of America’s Southwestern Frontier, pp. 67.
  2. ^ Maverick County Appraisal District property tax appraisals, 2007
  3. ^ Kuhlman, Annette Kickapoo. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture., Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009 (accessed 21 February 2009)
  4. ^ Oklahoma Indian Affairs. Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket Pictorial Directory. 2008:21

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Contested; an Anishinaabeg source proposes the meaning stand here and there, in reference to the tribe's migratory patterns.

Proper noun




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  1. An Algonquian-speaking Native American tribe.


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