Welcome to the Kickapoo Tribe Archives of the state of Oklahoma!
The name Kickapoo is derived from Kiwigapawa which means "he moves about, standing now here, now there." The tribe has also been known as the "Mexican Kickapoo" and "Texas Kickapoo". They have a close ethnic tie to the Sac and Fox tribe.
A catholic missionary found the tribe living in southern Wisconsin around 1667. After the French and Indian War ( and the resulting breakup of the Illinois tribe), the Kickapoo moved into what is now southern Illinois. Treaty relations began with the U.S. with the Treaty of Greeneville in 1795. A treaty in 1819 ceded all Kickapoo lands in Illinois (nearly half that state) and assigned them a reservation in Missouri--at which point part of the tribe moved to Texas. In 1835, a new treaty replaced the Missouri land with a 12-square mile reservation in what is now northeastern Kansas. Part of this was later reduced and opened to white settlement, another part went to allotments for tribe members. In 1883, a rich 100,000 acre reservation at the center of Indian Territory was given them; in 1891, it was ceded and allotments were provided to tribal members--although two-thirds of the tribe refused to acknowledge the agreement. In 1895, their reservation was organized as part of Oklahoma Territory and surplus lands were opened to white settlement by a run.
The Kickapoo have always been independent and clannish, especially in retaining their tribal religious beliefs and ceremonies. They lived in their traditional bark-covered houses, which were arranged in villages, up to the last years the reservation existed. They were mainly farming people, but went to hunt buffalo in the West--and so became one of the first tribes from the Illinois country to learn about horses.
Famous tribal members~Chief Kanakuk, (died 1852) known as the Kickapoo prophet who established a tribal religion in Illinois, teaching virtuous living. Chief Wah-Pho-ko-wah, a woman who ruled with good judgment, her word was law.
Gene Phillips -State Archivist
Linda Simpson - Archivist-Indian Nations/Indian Territory
Help the Kickapoo Tribe Archives grow, kindly submit your data.
If you have any cemetery records, bible records, deeds, applications for citizenship in the Kickapoo Tribe, land patents, probate records, allotment records, etc, that pertain to the Kickapoo Tribe, please send them to me as an attachment in an e-mail to Interim File Manager. Please be sure to identify that it is for the Kickapoo Tribe. It also needs to be a plain text file, no HTML and no images. This ensures that everybody will be able to read it, no matter what kind of web browser. Here is a help file.
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Last Updated: 29 Aug 2009