Today, there are three federally recognized Kickapoo tribes in the United States: the Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas.
The Kickapoo Indians originally lived in the Michigan and Ohio area. They fled south and west to get away from British and American aggression, settling briefly in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Eventually the Americans forced some Kickapoos onto Kansas and Oklahoma reservations.
Fiercely independent, many Kickapoo people fled all the way to Mexico rather than surrender to the Americans. Of those that went to Mexico, approximately half returned to the United States and were sent to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
1a: an Indian people originally of Wisconsin but now living in Oklahoma and Chihuahua, Mexico. b: a member of such people. 2: a dialect of Fox.
Religious practice is organized around sacred bundles, misaami, for clans and herbal societies. The religion is protected and practiced almost fanatically among the Mexican Kickapoo, whereas the Kansas Kickapoo have been strongly affected by Christianity.
The Kickapoo, meaning “those who walk the earth” or “he who moves here and there,” are grouped with other tribes in the Algonquian linguistic lineage, and were situated in what A. M. Gibson refers to as the “Algonquian heartland” (1963:3).
The Kickapoo built wooden, bark covered structures for houses. These houses are called wickiups or wigwams. They raised crops, gathered fruits and nuts when in season, fished the rivers and hunted deer, bear and small game. Wood, gathered from the forests provided material for many of the tools and implements.
Kickapoo is a town in Vernon County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 566 at the 2000 census. The unincorporated communities of Kickapoo Center and Sugar Grove are located in the town.
The French established New France in the 1600’s and established trading links with the tribe. The Kickapoo were allies of the French during the violent Beaver Wars (1640 – 1701) and the long running French and Indian Wars (1688-1763).
In the 21st century, the Comanche Nation has 17,000 members, around 7,000 of whom reside in tribal jurisdictional areas around Lawton, Fort Sill, and the surrounding areas of southwestern Oklahoma.
The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas reside on an Indian Reservation in Brown County in northeastern Kansas. Their headquarters is located in Horton, Kansas. The Kickapoo were one of the many Great Lakes Tribes that occupied the western portion of the woodland area near Lake Erie in southern Michigan.
The Potawatomi continued to ally themselves with the French, as did other tribes from Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. They fought in many famous battles of the war such as Braddock’s Defeat in Pennsylvania in 1755 and the infamous Massacre of Fort William Henry in New York in 1757.
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 wickiup was constructed of tall saplings driven into the ground, bent over, and tied together near the top. This dome-shaped framework was covered with large overlapping mats of woven rushes or of bark that were tied to the saplings.
In the early 18th century part of the tribe settled near the Milwaukee River. After the destruction of the Illinois Indians about 1765, the Milwaukee River band moved south into the Illinois ‘ former territory near Peoria, Ill.