The Miami County Historical Museum has a new exhibit which starts August 1, 2022. The title of the exhibit is “Living Sovereignty”. It contains information on the different Indian tribes in Kansas and Missouri. Despite the broken treaties, the terrible act of removal (trail of tears), genocide, and the suppression of Indigenous cultures and languages, tribal sovereignty was codified in U.S. law. Currently there are over 570 federally recognized tribes and even more that are not federally recognized. They all continue to celebrate their traditional lifestyles and tribal sovereignty today.
Four emigrant tribes, Kickapoo, Iowa, Sac and Fox, and Potawatomi maintained reservations in Kansas while the Wyandot tribe continues to own land in the state. No tribes retained land in Missouri. Although foodstuffs, political precedents, placed names, and other familiarities have roots in the cultures of our Indigenous forebears, they serve as reminders of their presence here.
The state of Kansas was part of the homeland of the Pawnee, Kansa, Osage, Wichita, Kiowa, Missouria, Otoe Comanche, Arapaho, and Cheyenne Nations. Missouri was originally inhabited by the Illinois Confederation, Iowa, Missouria, Osage, Otoe, and Quapaw. The federal government set boundaries for Kansas and Missouri with no regard for tribal lands and movements.
Each Indigenous nation was autonomous, defined its own boundaries, operated its own government, developed its own religious ceremonies, and spoke their own language. In the 1820s, the government removed tribes living east of the Mississippi to land in the west. More than 20 tribes were relocated to reservations in Kansas.