Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Illinois

Illinois, a confederation of Native North Americans, comprising the Cahokia, the Kaskaskia, the Michigamea, the Moingwena, the Peoria, and the Tamaroa tribes, belong to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock.

In the mid-17th century they lived in South Wisconsin, North Illinois, and sections of Iowa and Missouri. They then numbered some 6,500. Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet are believed to have been the first Europeans to travel through Illinois territory.

By 1750 wars with the Sioux, the Fox, and the Iroquois had reduced the population of the tribe to some 2,000.

In 1769 the assassination of the celebrated Ottawa chief Pontiac by a Kaskaskia provoked the Lake tribes, and they began a war of extermination, which in a few years diminished the Illinois even further. The remnants of the tribe sought asylum at the French settlement at Kaskaskia. By 1800 there still remained some 150 Illinois and in 1833 the survivors, represented by the Kaskaskia and the Peoria, sold their lands in Illinois and moved west of the Mississippi. Their descendants now occupy tribal land in Oklahoma, which they share with the Wea and Piankashaw.




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