Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
The Miami first emerged as a distinct and different people at saakiiweeyonki (near South Bend, Indiana). Their traditional homelands include what are today the states of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, lower Michigan and lower Wisconsin. This was a shared landscape with many other indigenous people including, but not limited to, Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Potawatomi, Ojibwa and Kickapoo peoples. In the 1600s, the Miami, who numbered in the tens of thousands, began having frequent contact with Europeans.
Over the next two centuries, Euro-American encroachment, war and disease took a high toll on the Miami. Eventually a series of treaties with the United States required the Miami to cede their traditional homelands. In 1840, the tribe signed a treaty calling for their removal beyond the Mississippi. In 1846, after many attempts to avoid the devastating move, the Miami, by then numbering in the hundreds, were herded at gunpoint into canal boats to begin the long journey to a reservation in the Unorganized Territory near what later became La Cygne, Kansas.
The Miami remained in Myaamionki Waapankiaakamionki (Miami lands by the La Cygne River) until 1837, when the tribe was once again forcibly relocated. This relocation forced the tribe into Indian Territory, which 34 years later, became the state of Oklahoma. By the time the tribe reached Indian Territory, there were fewer than 100 adults remaining. As with many tribes, allotment policy dealt yet another blow to the Miami and eventually they were landless.
Today, however, the Miami are growing their land base and revitalizing their heritage, language and cultural identity. The Miami run their own elders food program, library, historical archive, cultural and natural resources offices, environmental programs, housing programs, social services programs and childcare programs. Once a year the tribe hosts its National Gathering, which includes Family Day, the annual Miami Nation Powwow and the Annual Meeting of the General Council.