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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.

Seven Original Tribes of Missouri

Before the Indian Removal Act (1830) there were seven tribes in Missouri:

Print Encyclopedias in the Library

Each of these encyclopedias can be found in the Reference section of the JCH Library. Reference materials are for in-house use only and cannot be checked out.

Government Documents

The Jefferson College library collection includes many books and government documents, both in the general collection and the Federal Depository Collection. To search for government documents use the online catalog Archway.



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


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.)

Today's Tribes