Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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:



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


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

National Park Service: Native Americans

On Display @ Jefferson College Library

Stop by to see our display of featured titles, click here to take a peek and decide what you want to check out, or, look for additional titles in our catalog Archway.


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 for assistance locating government information.


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