Indian Tribes of Iowa

Time Frame: 1670's-1870's

A summary of Indian tribes who inhabited Iowa from the 1670s to the 1870s.
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“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa Public Television, 1979.

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During two hundred years that followed the arrival of the first white man, Iowa’s woodlands and prairies were the home of many different Indian tribes. There were the Ottawa and Ioway, whose ancestors the Oneota, had lived here for centuries. There were the Sauk and Mesquakie forced out of the East by westward moving Americans. These two tribes lived and hunted together along the Mississippi River in both Illinois and Iowa. In the northwestern part of the state lived the Dakota Sioux, plains Indians whose name means “friend or ally.” The Sioux were a powerful people, divided into a number of smaller tribes such as the Santee, Sisseton and Wahpeton.


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