Miami Nation

People On The Peninsula
Cry Of The Crane

The Miami Nation consisted of six independent tribes in the times prior to 1796
The Atchakangouen "Miami Proper"
And Wea

After 1796 their tribes were the Eel River
And Wea
They had many villages throughout Ohio
And eastern Illinois

Then in the 1600's most of the Wea and Piankashaw
Were forced to move to Wisconsin and western Illinois because of Iroquois invasion
Their population estimated at 15,000 in 1600 went to 8,000 in 1717
This estimation was by the British
By 1846 the Piankashaw, Wea and Miami in Kansas numbered only 1,000
Largely due to epidemics of Smallpox
And many trade wars with other tribes during this time

After a low of only 129 members in 1909
The Oklahoma Miami tribal roll now numbers more than 1,600
An Algonquin speaking people closely related dialect to the Ojibwe
The Miami had an unusual amount of respect and ceremony accorded to their chiefs
Who also had religious functions
Until they were unable to cope with the European epidemics

At this time the Midewiwin cyring society became very powerful
This and the acceptance of Christianity by some
Caused a leadership crisis between the late 1600's till the 1750's
Today much of the traditional authority of Miami chiefs has been retained
It still takes a unanimous vote of the tribal council to override his decision

The Miami developed a unique varity of white corn
Which was their mainstay of agriculture
Their summer homes were framed longhouses
With a seperate and larger one for councils and ceremonies
In the fall they would move to the praires for communal buffalo hunts
In the winter they would seperate into hunting camps
The Miami had a reputation for being slow-spoken and polite
Yet known for their fancy dress
Both sexes were known to have body tattoos
They also had harsh penalties for female adulterers
Who were either killed or had their noses cut off

The first European contact was in 1658 between Jesuit missiomaries and the Wea tribe
The next recorded meeting was with a Frenchman named Nicolas Perrot in 1668
Starting the Miami on a trade relationship with the French and later the British
That resulted in many intertribal trade and European instigated wars
The Beaver Wars in 1680-1700 were fought against the Iroquois
An Illinois and Miami Confederacy drove the Iroquois back and a peace obtained in 1701
Then started a decline in French influence and trust with the Algonquin alliance
Due to the Queen Anne's War 1701-13
And some bad decisions on the part of the French goverment

From the years of 1701-1713 many intertribal wars and unrest cropped up
And in 1704 smallpox spread between the Illinois and Miami
Prompting a growing crisis between the traditional chiefs and the power of the Midewiwin
But the French could not respond to the pleas of the Wea for help
The Fox Wars 1712-16 and 1728-37
Were clear signs that the French alliance had fallen apart
By the 1730's most of the fur trade was going to the British from the Algonquin tribes

In desperation the French formed a war party of
And Michilimackiniac
Then they attacked Pickawillany, a Miami village
Where Chief Memeskia was killed and eaten by the Ottawa

The following July the Miami, Potowatomi and Sauk rejoined the alliance
The French began building forts in western Pennsylvania
To isolate the alliance from the British traders

The French and Indian wars then started in 1755-63
Smallpox was again brought to the Ohio Valley
This took a heavy toll on the Miami
Accepting the teachings of Neolin, the Delaware Prophet in 1762
The Miami joined in Pontiac's Rebellion of 1763 against the British
After Pontiac's
Murder the Miami abandoned western Ohio to the Shawnee and moved to Indiana

During the years that followed White settlers poured into the Ohio Valley region
They massacred any tribes that resisted
This prompted the Lord Dunmore's War in 1774

The Revolutionary War 1775-83
Was mainly caused by American demands for the Ohio Valley
So the British and their allies
The Iroquois tried to convince the Ohio tribes to attack new settlements
At first most remained neutral including the Miami
In 1778 George Rogers Clark a Kentucky land speculator and militia leader
Brought a small army into the Ohio Valley

The Piankashaw and other Wabash tribes welcomed the Americans with offers of help
Clark's hatred for the Indian people prompted his decline
He massacred the British native allies taken prisoner

After the war even though the Ohio tribes were never defeated
The Treaty of Paris made no provisions for Britain's native allies
The Greater Miami Treaty of 1786
Gave everything up to the Muskingum River to the Americans
There were some who rebelled against this

Mohawk Joseph Brant and War chief Michikinikway "Little Turtle" among them
Little Turtle's War 1790-94 began with many victories
Little Turtle proved to be a military genius

Then President Washington sent "Mad Anthony" Wayne to Ohio
He was called "Blacksnake" because like the blacksnake
He sat quietly and wated for the right moment to strike
Little Turtle began to have doubts about facing him
He was replaced by Shawnee war chief Bluejacket for the battle
When they were forced to retreat
The warriors saw the British at Fort Miami close their gates
Without British help the alliance was forced to sign the Treaty of Greenville in 1795
They were forced to give up most of Ohio

Little Turtle became a "Peace Chief" and was lionized by the Americans
He was given a sword from President Washington
He valued the sword so much that he was buried with it
Little Turtle introduced smallpox vaccination to his people
He allowed himself and his family to receive it
But his efforts to stop the spread of alcoholism failed

By 1818 The
And Wea
Had been driven from all of Indiana except seven reserves
In 1820 the Wea ceded all of their Indiana land
They agreed to be moved to southwest Missouri
By 1832 All
And Kickapoo were in Missouri
From there they were again moved to eastern Kansas
By 1846 most of the Miami had been moved to Kansas
Those that remained in Indiana were intermarried with whites

In 1897
The assistant attorny general terminated the tribal status of the Miami
No reason was ever given

In 1867
The Miami
United Peoria
And Miami Tribe along with several other tribes in eastern Kansas
Were removed to Northeastern Oklahoma
The Indiana Miami have never been able to regain their federal status
The only recognized tribe being the Oklahoma Miami

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia

Isleta Tribe

Pueblo People Of The Tanoan Family

They lived on the west bank of the Rio Grande near Albuquerque--New Mexico
The pueblo that the tribe inhabits
Contains one of the largest settlements of Pueblo people
After the Zuni and Laguna pueblos with a population of about 2000
The pueblo of the Isleta has been secured to them
As the Isleta Indian Reservation under United States authority
The tribe has been entirely self-supporting
A branch of the tribe is at Isleta Del Sur
A small pueblo near El Paso--Texas

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia

Gros Ventre Tribe

Gros Ventre French "Great Belly"
A name given by early French traders to two unrelated tribes
Of North American Plains peoples
the Hidatsa Or Minitari Of Siouan stock
And the Algonquian Atsina
An Offshoot Of The Arapaho

The home of the Hidatsa is the Missuori River region of North Dakota
The Atsina to whom the name Gros Ventre is now generally applied
Are settled in Montana
The two tribes are sometimes distinguished by the names
Gros Ventres of the Missouri and Gros Ventres of the Prairie

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia

The Erie

A Native North American Tribe
Formerly inhabiting an area on the shores of Lake Erie
That is within the present boundries of the states of
New York
And Pennsylvania

The Erie lived mainly by growing and bartering corn and tobacco
Although linguistically members of the Iroquoian family
The Erie were the traditional enemies of the Iroquois Confederacy
And in 1656 were almost annihilated by them

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia

Noted Indian People


Pontiac was the Chief of the Ottawa people
He was the leader of the confederate tribes of the Ohio Valley
And Lake Region against the British in 1763-1765

He distinguished himself in the French service at an early age
It is said that he led the warriors of his own tribe
Against the British army officer Edward Braddock in 1755
His goal was to drive the British from their frontier possessions
He wanted to reestablish the Native American autonomy
Pontiac organized a confederacy that embraced virtually all the tribes
From the head of Lake Superior-almost to the Gulf of Mexico

According to the arrangement
The warriors of each tribe on a concerted day early in May 1763
Were to attack the garrison in their immediate neighborhood

Pontiac himself lead the assault to Detroit
In the great wilderness extending from the Pennsylvania frontier to Lake Superior
Were 14 British posts
Of which the most important were
Fort Pitt
And Mackinaw

The Native Americans captured all but four of the posts
And Detroit
Mackinaw was taken by a stratagem and the entire garrison was killed

A plot for the capture of Detroit
Seemed to have been betrayed to the commanding officer
By a Native American woman and failed
But Pontiac at once began a siege that lasted for five months
Reinforcements finally succeeded in entering Detroit
Pontiac's men began to desert him
The news of the signing of a peace treaty
Between France and Great Britain removed all hopes of French aid

Pontiac thereupon raised the siege
On August 17--1765 entered into a formal peace treaty
Which he confirmed at Oswego in 1766
Three years later he was murdered by a member of the Illinois Tribe

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia


Native American leader and inventor of the Cherokee alphabet
His name is also spelled Sequoyah or Sequoia
Born in Taskigi--Tennessee
Sequoya was probably the son of Nathaniel Gist
Gist was an English trader and a part-Cherokee woman

He was also known by his English name Geurge Guess
Sequoya worked as a silversmith and a trader in Cherokee Count-- Georgia
He served with the United States Army during the Creek War 1813-1814

Determined to preserve the Cherokee culture
Sequoya began to develop a system of writing for the Cherokees around 1809

By 1821 he had developed an alphabet composed of over 80 characters
That represented all the syllables of the Cherokee language
The alphabet allowed the Cherokee
To publish newspapers and books in their own language
Thousands learned to read and write in their written language
The giant sequoya trees and Sequoia National Park in California are named after him

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia

Sakajawea Or Sacagawea
1787?-1812 Or 1884

A Shoshone Native American woman who served as an interpreter
And guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805 and 1806
Sakajawea was probably born in Idaho
She was captured by members of the Hidatsa Tribe
She was sold as a slave to the Missouri River Mandans
They sold her to a Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau
She became one of his wives and gave birth to a son in Febuary 1805

Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Who had spent the winter of 1804 and 1805 with the Mandans
Hired Charbonneau as an interpreter and guide for the rest of their trip west
Sakajawea annd her young son were allowed to go with the expedition
The expedition set out in April 1805
They left North Dakota and traveled through present day
And Oregon

Sakajawea proved to be invaluable
The expedition encountered a tribe of Shoshone led by her brother Skajawea
They obtained
And Guides
Which allowed the explorers to continue

Carrying her young son on her back
Was legendary for her perseverance and resoursfulness
She and Charbonneau remained in North Dakota
When the expedition returned to Missouri in 1806
One of the two Native American wives of Charbonneau died in 1812
She was thought to be Sakajawea
However an old Native American woman who died on a reservation in 1884
Also claimed to be Sakajawea
She displayed considerable knowledge of the Lewis and Clark expedition

Of the many memorials to Sakajawea
The most famous is a statue in Washington Park In Portland--Oregon
Her name is often spelled Sacajawea

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia


Chief of the Sac or Sauk, Native Americans
His American Indian name was Ma-ka-tae-mish-kia-kiak

In 1804 the Sac and Fox agreed for an annuity of $1000.00
To cede to the United States their lands east of the Mississippi River
Blackhawk promptly repudiated this agreement
He declared that the whites had persuaded the Native Americans to sign it
After getting them drunk

In the War of 1812 Blackhawk fought with the British against the United States
The cession of the disputed territory
Was again arranged by treaties signed in
And in 1823 most of the Sac and Fox settled west of the Mississippi

When white settlers began to occupy the vacated lands
Blackhawk once more refused to recognize the agreement
The Native Americans were suffering from hunger in their new less fertile lands
In April 1832 they returned to the disputed territory to plant crops
The white settlers shot a peaceful emissary sent by Blackhawk
This began the so-called Blackhawk War
The Native Americans were defeated near the Wisconsin River on July 21,1832
They were defeated again in the Bad Axe Massacre on August 3
Blackhawk surrendered on August 27

The Sac and Fox were settled soon afterward
On a reservation near Fort Des Moines--Iowa where Blackhawk died

His bones were eventually exhumed
They were put on display in an Iowa museum
They were destroyed by a fire in 1853
He wrote The Autobiography of Blackhawk in 1833

1996 Encarta Encyclopedia

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