The Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas has been in its present area since the 1832 Treaty of Castor Hill where the Kickapoo lived near the Missouri River. The Treaty of 1854 with the Kickapoo Tribe ceded over 600,000 acres of land to the US Government but retained approximately 150,000 acres of land.
The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas reside on an Indian Reservation in Brown County in northeastern Kansas. Their headquarters is located in Horton, Kansas. The Kickapoo were one of the many Great Lakes Tribes that occupied the western portion of the woodland area near Lake Erie in southern Michigan.
Kickapoo roots can be found in the Great Lakes region, and were first mentioned in Lower Michigan in the 1600s. By 1654, French explorers identified the Kickapoo, along with the Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi tribes, in southeast Wisconsin, having moved due to the heavy Iroquois influence in the east.
The Kickapoo Tribe entered into 10 treaties with the United States government from 1795 to 1854 These treaties brought devastating consequences; the treaties shifted the homelands of the Kickapoos from Illinois to Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico.
Today, three federally recognized Kickapoo tribes are in the United States: the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. The Kickapoo in Kansas came from a relocation from southern Missouri in 1832 as a land exchange from their reserve there.
In 1809 and 1819, under the pressure of advancing American settlers, the Kickapoo ceded their lands in Illinois to the United States, moving to Missouri and then to Kansas. About 1852 a large group went to Texas and from there to Mexico, where they were joined by another party in 1863.
The Kickapoo first appeared in written history about 1667-70 when they were found by Allouez near the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.
Religious Beliefs. Traditionally, the Kickapoo religion has been an intrinsic part of every facet of life. The religion is animistic and includes a belief in manitous or spirit messengers. Religious practice is organized around sacred bundles, misaami, for clans and herbal societies.
Mayas: in the Yucatán peninsula. Mayos: in the northern part of Sinaloa and southern part of Sonora. Mazahuas: in the southeastern part of the state of Mexico. Mazatecos (Popoloca): in the central and northern part of Oaxaca.
The Kickapoo spent the spring and summer in the permanent villages. They lived in oval-shaped houses made from a frame of wooden poles covered with bark or woven mats.
Most Kickapoo people still live in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. What did they eat? The Kickapoo men hunted large animals like deer. They also eat com, cornbread call “‘pugna” and planted squash and beans.
The Kickapoo were a Woodland tribe, speaking an Algonquian language, and were related to the Sac and Fox.
They lived in small dome-shaped houses called wickiups. Here is a photograph of a Kickapoo wickiup and some more information about wickiups and other Native brush shelters.