The Illini were original inhabitants of modern-day Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa. The Illini tribe was nearly wiped out by war in the 1700’s, and the survivors had to move to Kansas and Oklahoma.
The most prominent tribes in Illinois were the Illinois, Miami, Winnebago, Fox and Sacs (Sauk), Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie tribes.
The Illinois Confederation, also referred to as the Illiniwek or Illini, was a group of 12–13 Native American tribes who lived in the Mississippi River Valley, occupying an area from Lake Michigan to Iowa, Illinois, and south to Missouri and Arkansas.
According to native-languages.org, the name Illinois is derived from the native American word “Illiniwek,” which is the tribal name of the Illini tribe. Literally, the name means “best people.”
The name ” Illinois ” is a French alteration derived from the Native American word “ininiwek or ininiok.” Illinois was the name of a confederacy of six Native American tribes.
The first group–known to French explorers and missionaries as the Illinois or Illiniwek Indians –was a collection of twelve tribes that occupied a large section of the central Mississippi River valley, including most of what is today Illinois.
The Illiniwek were a loose confederation of tribes that included the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Moingwena, Peoria and Tamaroa. It is difficult to identify for certain which tribe was where in Southern Illinois. “Whenever you get into tribal identities, there’s always a bit of imposing,” said Whaley.
This region was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi, Odawa, Sauk, Ojibwe, Illinois, Kickapoo (Kiikaapoi), Miami (Myaamia), Mascouten, Wea, Delaware, Winnebago, Menominee, and Mesquakie. Today there are 22,000 Native Americans living in Chicago.
As in every region of the United States, the first people who lived in the Midwest were the Native Americans. Their tribal names were Kickapoo [music in], Sac, Potawatomie, Ottawa, Ojibwa, Illinois, Miami, Huron, Dakota, Sioux.
The Illinois spoke a language in the Algonquian language family called ” Miami-Illinois.” Miami and Illinois peoples could easily understand one another. The only differences in their speech were different ways of pronouncing certain words.
Illinois is a beautiful, big state, and anyone who lives in it can proudly pronounce it correctly. The word Illinois is derived from the Native American word “iliniwok” or “illiniwek,” which literally means “best people”; it was used to refer to the 10 to 12 tribes found around the river.
The five main tribes were the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Peoria, and Tamaroa. Illinois Confederation.
|Successor||Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma|
The name Chicago is derived from the local Indian word chicagoua for the native garlic plant (not onion) Allium tricoccum. As a name for a place, as distinct from a river, Chicagou appears first in Chicagoumeman, the native name for the mouth of the present Chicago River, where Fort Dearborn was built in 1803.
Priests of the Quebec Seminary of Foreign Missions found the Holy Family mission at Cahokia, the first permanent settlement in the Illinois country.