Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Kickapoo

Kickapoo are Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock, and who in the late 17th century occupied South Wisconsin. They were closely related to the Sac and Fox, and their culture was essentially that of the Eastern Woodlands area, however they also hunted buffalo, a trait adopted from their neighbors in the Plains area.

After the alliance of the Kickapoo, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Sac and Fox tribes massacred the Illinois, they divided the Illinois territory between themselves. The Kickapoo, numbering about 3,000, moved south to central Illinois. Later they split in two; the Vermilion group settled on the Vermilion River, a tributary of the Wabash, and the Prairie group on the Sangamon River.

The Kickapoo, a power in the region, sided with the British in the American Revolution and in the War of 1812, where they aided the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. By the Treaty of Edwardsville The Kickapoo ceded all their lands in Illinois to the United States. They were prevented from entering Missouri, despite it having been set aside for them, because that region was occupied by the hostile Osage. The Kickapoo, after aiding the Sac and Fox in the Black Hawk War, were forced to leave Illinois then moved first to Missouri and then to Kansas. A large group, dissatisfied with conditions on the reservation, went first to Texas and then to Mexico, where they became known as the Mexican Kickapoo.

After the U.S. Civil War, the Mexican Kickapoo proved so constant an annoyance to border settlements that the United States made efforts to induce them to return. The negotiations were successful, and a number returned to settle on reservations in Texas and Oklahoma. The remaining Mexican Kickapoo are settled on a reservation in Chihuahua, Mexico, and there is also a Kickapoo reservation in Kansas. In 1990 there were 3,500 Kickapoo in the United States.

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