Kickapoo comes from their word "Kiwigapawa," means "he stands about" or "he
moves about." The tribe of the central Algonquian group, formed a division
with the Sac and Fox,
with whom they had close ethnic and linguistic connections. The Kickapoo
first appeared in history about 1667-70 when they were found by Allouez near
the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. The Kickapoo were
associated with other more powerful tribes occupying the country watered by
the Ohio, Wabash and Miami Rivers, in which they participated in a treaty
made at Greenville in 1795 by General Wayne, and in those of 1803, at Fort
Wayne and Vincennes, Indiana. By these and succeeding treaties, the tribe
ceded all their lands on the Wabash, White and Vermilion Rivers.
They also ceded lands in the valley of the Illinois
River, of which "the said Kickapoo tribe claim a large portion by descent
from their ancestors, and the balance by conquest from the Illinois nation,
and uninterrupted possession for more than half a century."
In consideration of
these cessions, they were given a tract of land situated on, and south of, the
Osage River in
tribe were living on the Wabash River at the time this treaty was made, and
On October 24, 1832, the Kickapoo ceded their
country on the Osage River in Missouri,
and, on the November 26th of the same year, were granted a reservation situated
north of the
in Kansas and were also to receive
an annual subsidy.
However, by another treaty on May 18, 1854, their
land was ceded to the United States, "saving and reserving in the western part
thereof, 150,000 acres for a future and permanent home" for the tribe. By the
terms of the treaty, the specified sum of $20,000 was to be paid the tribe, they
to support themselves thereafter.
June 28, 1862, a treaty was made, setting apart a
portion of the reserve to be divided and held in severalty by members of the
tribe, the remainder to be sold, the Atchison & Pike's Peak Railroad Company
having the privilege of buying the lands at $1.25 per acre. The company bought
123,832 acres at that price, lying principally in Brown County, Kansas.
The lands were advertised for sale in 1866. Those of the tribe who chose to
remove to the
numbering about six hundred, were allotted a portion of the Sac and Fox
The first location of the Kickapoo in Kansas
was on the southeast corner of their reservation, near
Leavenworth. They were more
industrious and their habits were generally more correct than those of many of
the tribes to the north.
The more rapid improvement of this tribe was in a
large measure owing to the influence of Kenekuk, the Kickapoo Prophet, who moved
to the Indian Territory
with the tribe, and founded a religious sect among them, teaching and practicing
the doctrines of sobriety, industry and honesty. The Prophet numbered among his
adherents a large proportion of the tribe.
there are three recognized Kickapoo tribes in the United States: Kickapoo Tribe
of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, the Kickapoo Tribe of
Oklahoma, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of
Texas. Additionally, there is
another band in the Mexican state of Coahuila, as well as a large group in
Arizona. Today, there are about 3,000 Kickapoo Tribal Members.
Compiled and edited by
of Kansas, updated March, 2017.