Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
Originally, Kickapoo Homelands were in the Great Lakes region, but a slow and general migration of the population out of the region came sometime after 1400. The tribe split into different bands sometime after the mid-1700s, and each band signed a separate cessation of Illinois lands in a treaty with the U.S. in 1819, although not all adhered and eventually some were removed forcibly. Another treaty in 1832 moved the Kickapoo to Kansas, putting them on a 12-square-mile reservation where railroad promoters after the Civil War secretly used political connections to swindle the Kickapoo out of their lands. In disgust, some Kickapoo went to Mexico, where some had lived since 1849, others accepted allotments and lost them and still others stayed on their diminished reservation lands.
Beginning in 1837, about half the tribe moved to a 100,000-acre reservation in Indian Territory. In 1891, an attorney committed outright fraud, producing an allotment document that sold "surplus" tribal lands which led to tribal division and more Kickapoo migrating to Mexico. Only gradually did some begin to return in the 1920s. In 1997, representatives from three Kickapoo groups - Kansas, Oklahoma and Mexico - met in Kansas for a summit, the first time the three were together since their division in the 1800s. The Kickapoo aggressively preserve their culture with many practicing traditional rituals and ways of life. Approximately 80 percent of Kickapoo speak only their tribal language, not English.