Indian Tribes in Kansas

Osage Chief Pawhuska aka White Hair

There were thirty tribes in Kansas until the Kansas Territory opened up for settlement in 1854 and they were moved…again. After the Civil War settlement caused more to be moved. The Osage were in Kansas following the Civil War but after the Medicine Lodge Treaty in 1867. The Council was held at Ft. Larned in Osage territory. The terms of the treaty were not kept and a year later new U.S. policies restricted the tribes to their own reservations and in 1870, the Osage Removal Act was passed. Euro-American settlers were arriving, the bison were disappearing and the Osage way of life as they knew it had vanished. The Osage established a capital at Pawhuska, OK in 1872. Chief Pa-huh-ska tried to scalp an enemy and the man’s white wig came off in his hands. He was proud of his trophy and wore it frequently. He became known as “White Hair.”

The Pawnees were relocated to Indian Territory in 1876. Most of the Shawnee were relocated to Indian Territory in the late 1860s. Similar removals came to most of the remaining tribes. Today there are only four reservations in Kansas, the Iowa, Kickapoo, Potawatomi and Sac-Fox. The great American Olympic Champion and major league baseball player, Jim Thorpe was Sac-Fox.

Jim Thorpe

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