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What is the history of the Kickapoo Indians?

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Quick Answer

The Kickapoo tribe of Native Americans was a migratory group that originated in the upper Midwest, likely an offshoot of the Shawnee. At the time of European contact in the late 17th century, the Kickapoo were settled in what is now southeastern Indiana. As a part of the regional Wabash Confederation of Native American groups, they signed several treaties, selling their land and moving north.

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Full Answer

The Kickapoo Native American tribe was among those involved in Tecumseh's War in 1811. This conflict, fought against the U.S. Army in the Indiana Territory, exploded out of tensions between European settlers and indigenous groups in the region. The Native American's confederacy of tribes was led by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Kickapoo warriors were present at the pivotal Battle of Tippecanoe, and also participated in the following War of 1812 on the side of the British.

Following the conflicts, the Kickapoo people migrated west of the Mississippi river, settling in unorganized territory in what is now Kansas. Over the course of the 19th century, the tribe moved several times in an effort to avoid European settlers, eventually settling south and west of Kansas in Texas and Mexico. As of 2015, the three recognized U.S. groups of Kickapoo are the Tribe of Oklahoma, the Tribe of Texas and the Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas.

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