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Indigenous Tribes of Missouri: Missouri's Native Peoples

Missouri's Native Peoples

Getting Started

There are currently no federally recognized tribes in the state of Missouri.  Most of the indigenous people who once inhabited land in Missouri were forced to leave and resettle in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas) during the Indian Removal Act of 1830.  This LibGuide presents an overview of where to find information regarding the original seven nations of Missouri.

Original Tribes of Missouri

Before the Indian Removal Act (1830) there were seven tribes in Missouri, however other tribes inhabited and have connections to this land:

 

Terminology

Native Americans can be described using a number of terms.  The following keywords can help you in your research process:

Keywords:

  • Native Americans
  • American Indians
  • Indians
  • First Nations
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Specific Tribal Names (Osage, Cherokee, etc.)

National Park Service: Native Americans

FDLP

Eagle symbol of the FDLP

Jefferson College Library is a congressionally designated selective depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code).

Contact Lisa Pritchard at 636-481-3160 or lpritcha@jeffco.edu for assistance locating government information.

Slideshow

A delegation of members from the Oto Nation. National Archives Washington, D.C.; photograph by John K. Hillers, c. 1881–1907.

 

Helpful Databases

Below is a list of databases that may be useful for researching information about Native Americans. A complete alphabetical list of the library's database collection can be found on the library homepage under Find Articles >> A-Z.

 

Prominent Figures

Peter Bigheart, Chief of the Osage tribe, 1909 - Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; photograph by William J. Boag, c. 1909.

 

Shauhaunapotinia, an Ioway Chief, hand-coloured lithograph by Charles Bird King, c. 1835. - SMU Central University Libraries

Missouri Life Magazine

This  three-part series from Missouri Life magazine provides an overview of the history of the original tribes of Missouri.

Part 1: When the Osage and Missouria Reigned

Part 2: Things Fall Apart

Part 3: Homecoming

A Few Books

Here are a few titles from our collection. Additional print and digital titles may be found by searching our catalog.

Ask a Librarian

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Native American Heritage Month

National Native American Heritage Month

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994. Read More...

Americans: An Exhibit Smithsonian's National Museum of Native American History

American Indian images are everywhere, from the Land O’Lakes butter maiden to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, and from classic Westerns and cartoons to episodes of Seinfeld and South Park. American Indian names are everywhere too, from state, city, and street names to the Tomahawk missile. And familiar historical events such as Pocahontas’s life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn remain popular reference points in everyday conversation.

Americans, a major exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, highlights the ways in which American Indians have been part of the nation’s identity since before the country began. It delves into the three stories, surrounds visitors with images, and invites them to begin a conversation about why this phenomenon exists.

Pervasive, powerful, at times demeaning, the images, names, and stories reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have been embedded in unexpected ways in the history, pop culture, and identity of the United States.

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's Inaugural Reading

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden appointed Joy Harjo as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress on June 19, 2019.

Joy Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position—she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of nine books of poetry—including An American Sunrise (2019); Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015); The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and In Mad Love and War (1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Harjo has also written a memoir, Crazy Brave (W. W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, The Good Luck Cat (Harcourt, Brace 2000), and a young adult book, For a Girl Becoming (University of Arizona Press, 2009).

Missouri Life Magazine

This  three-part series from Missouri Life magazine provides an overview of the history of the original tribes of Missouri.

Part 1: When the Osage and Missouria Reigned

Part 2: Things Fall Apart

Part 3: Homecoming

Music by Lyla June

Lyla June is an Indigenous environmental scientist, doctoral student, educator, community organizer and musician of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages from Taos, NM.

Learn More...