See R. E. Ritzenthaler, The Mexican Kickapoo Indians (1956, repr. 1970); A. M. Gibson, The Kickapoos (1963).
North American Indian people related to the Sauk and Fox and living in the U.S. states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and in northern Mexico. The name is a variant of the Algonquin word kiwegapawa, meaning “he stands about” or “he moves about.” Their language is of the Algonquian family. Before colonization, they inhabited what is now south-central Wisconsin, U.S. The Kickapoo were formidable warriors, whose raids took them as far as the southern and northeastern U.S. About 1765, after dispatching the Illinois Indians, the Kickapoo settled near Peoria, Ill. They later moved to the central and southern Plains under pressure from advancing settlers. By the 19th century, Kickapoo tribal organization had adapted to new conditions that favoured autonomous chiefs for each band rather than a centralized tribal authority. The Kickapoo resisted acculturation and sought to retain their old ways. Kickapoo descendants in the U.S. numbered more than 5,000 in the early 21st century.
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The Kickapoos (Kickapoo: Kiikaapoa or Kiikaapoi) are one of the Algonquian speaking Native American tribes. According to the Anishinaabeg, the name "Kickapoo" (Giiwigaabaw in the Anishinaabe language and its Kickapoo cognate Kiwikapawa) means "Stands Here and there" and refers to the tribes migratory patterns. This interpretation is contested and generally believed to be a folk etymology.
There are three recognized Kickapoo tribes remaining in the United States: the Kickapoo of Kansas, the Kickapoo of Oklahoma, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. There is another band in the Mexican state of Coahuila. There is also a large group in Arizona. Thus far the former two groups have been politically lumped with the Texas band. Additionally, Kickapoos live in small groups throughout the western United States. Around 3,000 people claim to be tribal members.
Kickapoo speak an Algonquian language closely related to that of the Sauk and Fox.
There are undetermined numbers of other Kickapoo in Maverick County, Texas, who constitute the South Texas Subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma. That tribe owns of non-reservation land in Maverick County, primarily to the north of Eagle Pass, and it has an office in that city.