The story of the confederated tribes of Otoe and Missouria, once two separate peoples, began centuries ago when a mass of people located near the Great Lakes withdrew from their parent stock and departed on a quest of their own. By the turn of the 18th century, the Otoe and Missouria had left evidence of their separate and independent villages along the way, as affirmation of their pilgrimage. The Otoe resided near the Platte River in Nebraska; The Missouria were on the Grand River in what is now the state of Missouri.
In 1804, Lewis and Clark visited the Otoe, paving the way for the flood of white Europeans seeking Indian lands. With them came a peculiar and lasting relationship between the Otoe-Missouria and the United States government. A treaty period began with the treaty of 1817, negotiated to promote peace and friendship between the tribe and its neighbors. In the interest of peace and survival, the Otoes and Missourias reunited about this time as the Missouria population was in decline due to ongoing warfare with neighboring tribes. Numbering a little more than 100 members, the majority of the remaining Missouria were united with the Otoe.
Since that union, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe has been recognized by other tribes and by the federal government as one people. Under the terms of an 1881 act, northern Otoe-Missouria were removed to a 129,000-acre reservation north of what is today Stillwater,Okla., near Red Rock Creek. The reservation officially ended in 1904 with the implementation of the Dawes Act wherein the Otoe-Missouria were individually allotted small parcels of land rather than owning a large swath of land communally.
Today, tribal members perpetuate tribal traditions with feasts, dances and an annual encampment held the third weekend in July. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe maintains a tribal library and a museum is in the planning stages. The tribe also owns four casinos - Lil' Bit of Paradis and 7 Clans Paradise Casino in Red Rock and Lil' Bit of Paradise Travel Plaza and First Council Casino in Newkirk.