Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

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Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
A Kickapoo wickiup, Sac and Fox Agency, Oklahoma, 1880 - NARA - 519144.tif
interior of a Kickapoo wickiup in Indian Territory, 1880
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Oklahoma])
Kickapoo, English
Related ethnic groups
Sac and Fox Nation
and other Algonquian peoples

The Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma is one of three federally recognized Kickapoo tribes in the United States. There are also Kickapoo tribes in Kansas, Texas, and Mexico. The Kickapoo are a Woodland tribe, who speak an Algonquian language.[2]


The Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma is headquartered in McLoud, Oklahoma, and their tribal jurisdictional area is in Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, and Lincoln Counties. Of the 2,630 enrolled tribal members, 1,856 live within the state of Oklahoma. Membership to the tribe requires a minimum blood quantum of 1/4 Kickapoo descent.[1]

The tribe's Chairman is Gilbert Salazar,[3] who replaces Marilyn Winsea. The tribe operates its own housing authority and issues tribal vehicle tags.

Economic development[edit]

The Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma owns a gas station, a smoke shop, and a casino. Their estimated annual economic impact was $16 million in 2010.[1] Kickapoo Casino is located in McLoud.[4]


About 400 tribal members speak the Kickapoo language.[5] It is one of the few Oklahoma tribal languages spoken by children today.


At the time of contact in the mid-17th century, Kickapoo people lived in southwestern Wisconsin. By the 1750s, the Kickapoo divided into two communities, the Vermillion Band and the Prairie Band. The Vermillion Kickapoo settled on the east bank of the Wabash River in Indiana, while the Prairie Kickapoo lived along the Sangamon River in Illinois.[2]

Initially allied with the French, the Kickapoo fought with the British in the American Revolution. Afterward, they followed the teachings of Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh. During the Black Hawk War of 1832, the Kickapoo fought alongside the Sac and Fox against the United States.[2]

To resist acculturation, the Prairie Band moved west in the early 19th century, first into Missouri, then Texas, which was still under Spanish control. Spanish officials granted the Kickapoo lands in Texas. After being part of Mexico in 1821 and gaining independence in 1836, the Republic of Texas forced the Kickapoo off their lands in 1839. Many Kickapoo moved south to Mexico. The Mexican government gave them land grants in Nacimiento.[2]

Other Kickapoo moved north into Indian Territory, where they founded two villages, one within the Chickasaw Nation and the other within the Muscogee Creek Nation. The Kickapoo gained their own reservation in 1883, and were joined by some of the Mexican Kickapoo. On September 8, 1891, the tribe signed an agreement with the Cherokee Commission for individual allotments. Congress ratified the agreement in 1893, and their tribal lands were broken up from communal lands to individual households by allotment.[2][6]

In 1936, the tribe organized as the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act.[2]


  1. ^ a b c 2011 Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket Pictorial Directory.[dead link] Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. 2011: 19. Retrieved 4 Jan 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kuhlman, Annette. "Kickapoo," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture published by the Oklahoma Historical Society. (accessed October 6, 2013)
  3. ^ "Oklahoma's Tribal Nations."[dead link] Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  4. ^ Oklahoma Indian Casinos: Casinos by Tribe.500 Nations. (retrieved 21 Feb 2009)
  5. ^ Anderton, Alice, PhD. Status of Indian Languages in Oklahoma. Intertribal Wordpath Society. 2009 (21 Feb 2009)
  6. ^ Deloria Jr., Vine J; DeMaille, Raymond J (1999). Documents of American Indian Diplomacy Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions, 1775-1979. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 343–3462. ISBN 978-0-8061-3118-4.