What Are the Names of the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma?


Quick Answer

Seven tribes inhabited Oklahoma including the Plains Apache tribe, the Arapaho tribe, the Caddo tribe, the Comanche tribe and the Kiowa tribe; in addition to the Osage tribe and the Wichita tribe. Twenty-five other tribes moved to the area once it was designated "Indian territory" by the US government.

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Full Answer

Oklahoma, meaning "red people," got its name from The Choctaw Indians. But even though the Choctaw Indians got credit for naming the area, they were not the first native-Americans to inhabit the state. The state started with seven original tribes, but it grew to over 30 tribes within a few decades including the Cherokee tribe and Chickasaw tribe.

The reason for the enormous influx was the American policy of Indian Removal. Many tribes signed treaties, either willingly or by force, with the government; this moved their settlements onto reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas. The signing of these documents created an exchange for undisputed ownership of new lands. Some tribes refused to follow government orders but were later forced to move by the United States Army.

Before Oklahoma became an official state in 1907, the United States government broke up the collective tribal landholdings. This event turned reservations into tribal jurisdiction areas. All areas lost there mineral rights except for one, The Osage Nation.

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