Facts

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Facts

This list of facts was compiled for the 130th Anniversary of the Otoe-Missouria Encampment in 2011
Day 1: The Otoe and Missouria Tribe originated in the Great Lakes Region of the United States. It is believed that they were one tribe with the Iowa, Winnebago and Ho-Chunk people until the 1600’s. --Oklahoma Historical Society
Day 2: The Otoe, Missouria and Iowa migrated to the south and west during the 16th century and divided. By the late 17th century the Otoe had settled along the present day Minnesota-Iowa border. The Missouria lived near the confluence of the Missouri and Grand Rivers. And yes, the state of Missouri and the river are named for the Missouria people who once lived in the area.
Day 3: The Otoe & Missouria people first came into contact with Europeans in late 17th century. Jacques Marquette, the French explorer and missionary, included them in a 1673 map. He placed the Otoe near the Des Moines and upper Iowa Rivers.
Day 4: According to French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette they mapped a Missouria village at the Great Bend of the Missouri River in what is now Saline County. The Missouri River played an importat role in the lives of the Missouria people as they were able to control transportation/trade on the river from their village overlooking the river.
Day 5: Explorers Jolliet and Marquette noted that the Missouria Tribe was called the "Oumessourit" or "people of the dugout canoes" by the Illinois Tribe with whom the explorers had stayed. The Missouria called themselves "Niutachi" or "People of the River Mouth". However, history is recorded by those that are victorious and over the centuries the French, then Spanish and finally the English called the tribe the Missouria.
Day 6: Marquette and Jolliet claimed the entire area drained by the Mississippi River for France. The goal was to expand trade along the river and its' tributaries. The Missouria village located on the Great Bend of the Missouri River was estimated to have had up to 5,000 inhabitants and the French needed to have the support of the formidable tribe if they wanted to expand trade. Negotiations began.
Day 7: Frenchman Etienne de Bourgmont persuaded the Missouria to allow the French to build a fortified trading post on the north bank of the Missouri River opposite the Missouria village. Fort Orleans was completed in 1723.
Day 8: Etienne de Bourgmont's influence was based mostly on the fact that he had married a Missouria woman with whom he had a son. Fort Orleans became the military headquarters for the French on the Missouri River. From Fort Orleans, Bourgmont planned to visit the tribe the French called the Padouca Indians on the plains and open a trade route to reach the Spanish colony in New Mexico.
Day 9: Bourgmont worked to expand French influence. At first he met with mixed success, but in October 1724, he held a meeting with the Missouria, Kaw, Otoe, Iowa and Pawnee and encouraged them to trade only with the French and agree to peaceful relations with each other.
Day 10: In 1725 Bourgmont returned to France taking with him several Chiefs from the Illinois, Missouria, Osage and Otoe Tribes. He also took his Missouria wife who the French newspapers called Ignon Ouaconisen and the people of Paris called the "Missouri Princess".
Day 11:Bourgmont decided to remain in France and French authorities ordered Fort Orleans to be abandoned. With the withdrawal of the French garrison, the Missouria did not have the additional support of the French soldiers to assist them in the defense of their village. Other tribes seized the opportunity to attack.
Day 12: Through their agreement with the French, the Missouria had dominated trade on the Missouri River for years. With the French gone the Sac and Fox Tribes attacked the village. Other tribes followed. After repeated attacks and much loss, the Missouria moved their village upriver to be closer to a Little Osage village.
Day 13: By 1777 the population of the Missouria Tribe was estimated by the French to consist of about 150 warriors and about 600 individuals. After a devastating attack by the Winnebagos (who did not realize that the Missouria were relations until after the attack had begun) the surviving Missouria people dispersed to Otoe, Kaw, Osage and Ioway villages.
Day 14: In 2009, a contingent of Otoe-Missouria Tribal elders was invited to visit what is believed to be the ancestral lands of the Missouria Tribe. It was the first time in two hundred years that any people with Missouria blood had stepped foot on the soil. As they walked on what is now soybean fields, the significance was felt by the elders who offered a prayer to the archeological team surveying the site.
Day15: The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the U.S. government in 1803 of 828,800 square miles of territory claimed by France. The U.S. paid 15 million dollars for the Louisiana territory. France's claim on the land was the only thing sold, not the actual territory, which belonged to the tribes who inhabited the land.
Day 16: In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery. He named U.S. Army Captain Meriwether Lewis its leader. In turn, Lewis selected William Clark as his exploration partner. Their goal was to explore the land claimed through the Louisiana Purchase and to establish trade and sovereignty over the Native peoples along the Missouri River.
Day 17: On the 13th of June 1804, Lewis and Clark noted in their journals the location of a Missouria village between the confluences of the Chariton and Grand Rivers in Missouri. They wrote "...behind a small willow island in the bend is a prarie in which the Missouries Indians once lived and the spot where 300 of them fell a sacrifice to the fury of the Saukees. (Sac)"
Day 18: The journal continues . . . "This nation (Missouries) once the most noumerious nation in this part of the Continent now reduced to about 80 families. And that fiew under the protection of the Otteaus (Ottoes) on R. Platt who themselves are declining."
Day 19: Additional information has been submitted by Sky Campbell of events concerning the French and Spanish. The information posted is an English translation of the French document Le Massacre de L’Expedition Espagnole du Missouri, “About 1714 the grand chief of the Otoptata (Otoe) descended the Mississippi to meet Bienville and died in Biloxi.”
Day 20: Continued quote, “Ten years later another chief of this nation accompanied M. De Bourmont (sic) to Paris. The nations on the Missouri had designed to send to France ten delegates . . . but the Council of the Colony, for reasons of economy, held back five.” This relates to the previous post on Day 10.
Day 21: The French “permitted to go only the young Missouri woman, one Otoptata (Otoe) and one Osage, one Missouri (Missouria), one Illinois and Chicagou, ambassador of the Metchigamias.” They arrived in Paris on September 20, 1725.
Day 22: The envoys were received by the Duke of Bourbon, the Duchess of Orleans and the directors of the Company of the Indies. They were presented the King Louis XV by the Rev. Father de Beaubois.

Day 23: The Native delegation presented King Louis XV with a necklace of friendship sent by Mamantonense, Chief of the Metchigamias and offered a speech of good will. Chicagou wished the Duchess of Orleans "to be fruitful in great warriors like the ancestors of your husband and yourself." Smooth talker.

Day 24: Many years later, the papers of Bossu’s New Voyages to West Indies documents how the Native guests felt about the extravagantly used perfumes of Paris ladies and declared that “they smelled like alligators.”

Day 25: This information is provided by Sky Campbell and is cited from the following source: Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, Vol. VI, No. 1, January-March, 1923. On August 11 or 12, 1720, the Otoes and Missourias met the Spanish near the junction of the Loup River and the Platte River in Nebraska.

Day 26: While looking to establish their presence on the Missouri River, the Spanish had already defeated five tribes before turning their eyes on the Otoes.

Day 27: The Otoes were warned by their new allies the Pawnee of the approaching Spanish and went to meet them. The Otoes pretended to be Pawnees and deceived the Spanish. The Spanish then told the false Pawnees that they intended to destroy the Otoes.

Day 28: The Otoes camped with the Spanish that night. The Otoes danced and the Comanches, who were allies with the Spanish, fled in the darkness. The Spanish were not concerned, believing themselves to be protected by their Pawnee allies.

Day 29: The following day, the Otoes proposed another dance. During the dance the Otoes asked for the lances of the Spanish soldiers for their dancers. The Spanish granted the request.

Day 30: During the dance, an Otoe chief positioned his warriors around the Spanish. When the timing was right, he fired a pistol at the Spanish. At this signal, the rest of the warriors, consisting of Otoes, Missourias and Pawnees attacked.

Day 31: Four Spanish soldiers survived the initial attack and mounted their horses in an attempt to escape. Two were brought down by arrows as they fled. Two escaped toward Mexico with no provisions. There is no record of their survival.

Day 32: There were two chaplains with the Spanish detachment. One was slain and the other taken prisoner.

Day 33: The captive chaplain was a remarkable horseman. He later used this skill to escape from the Otoes. He stole a horse after the Otoes allowed him on it to demonstrate his impressive horsemanship.

Day 34: It is estimated that 60 Spaniards and about 140 “Indian carriers” (Native people from the Southwest) were killed in the attack.

Day 35: The Spanish and French continued their influence in the region of the Missouri and Platte Rivers. French aliened tribes were attacked by the Spanish and their tribal allies and vice versa. Suffering under the attacks and decimated by repeated bouts of disease (usually smallpox), the numbers of tribal people declined and alliances fell.

Day 36: Five years after the attack on the Spanish, in 1725, the Otoe & Missouria turned on their former allies the French. They attacked the garrison of Fort Orleans destroying the fort and killing the inhabitants including Sergeant Dubois. Dubois was the first husband of the “Missouri Princess” whom she had married in Paris.

Day 37: The following postings are excerpts from the book The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs (1881-1981). The book was published by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in 1981. “Today there are seven surviving clans in the tribe. These are the Bear, Beaver, Elk, Eagle, Buffalo, Pigeon and Owl. The story that follows is one of many versions that describe the origin of these clans.”

Day 38: “Nothing existed at the beginning, except an abundance of water. It flowed everywhere, eventually pushing all life out of it. In time, the water receded and land surfaced. Vegetation sprouted. Forests reached towering heights. In the recesses of these forests, animals and birds dwelt. All life spoke the same language.”—The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 39: “From the life-giving waters, the Bear Clan rose and came ashore. They peered about the dry world, and thought that they were the first people here. But they were quickly disappointed when they came upon the tracks of others which were embedded in the soft mud, leading out and away from the water.”—The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 40: “Following these signs, the Bear Clan chased the Beaver Clan, whom they eventually caught. The Beaver Clan, a diplomatic people, suggested that the clans become brothers and live together in harmony, because alone life was so hard.”—The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 41: “The intent of the Bear Clan was to kill the Beaver Clan when they found them, but the Bears were soon pacified by their new kin and resigned themselves to the fact that they were not the first people. So the Bear and Beaver Clans kept each other company and were companions at the Beginning.” –The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 42: “Some time passed before the Bear and Beaver Clans met other peoples and the two were content to think no others existed. Then it happened. The Bear and the Beaver Clans came upon the Elks, whom they desired to kill. –The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 43: ”But instead the Elks proposed that they be allowed to accompany the two clans. After a time, the Bear and Beaver Clans had a change of heart and agreed that all could be brothers and help one another.” –The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 44: “Now the sky people came through the sky opening and swooped down to earth, where they found evidence of three other clans. The Eagles knew that there were more people in the other three clans than in the Eagles. The Eagles approached these clans and once more the clans grew.” –The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 45: “Having decided to live together, they began sharing among themselves certain things and knowledge that had before belonged solely to individual clans, but it was now used to help all of the clans.” –The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs

Day 46: “In order to learn how to live, the clans called upon Waconda, the Creator. Waconda taught each clan certain things and gave each group certain sacred knowledge, and therefore, rights associated with a sacred pipe that also was a gift from Waconda. In this manner (of the sacred pipe) the four clans lived.

Day 47: “In time the Bear, Beaver, Elk and Eagle Clans met the Buffalo(head), Snake, Owl and Pigeon Clans. The last two, like the Eagles, were from the sky. The Buffalohead (renamed Buffalo), Owl, Pigeon and Snake (now extinct) had their own people, and this sacred possession they offered to the Bear, Beaver, Elk and Eagle Clans.”

Day 48: At first, this gesture was ignored by the Bears and the pipe rejected. But the Bears softened and finally Bear, Beaver, Elk and Eagle Clans accepted the pipe which was an offering of friendship and co-existence. They reciprocated, making a similar gesture of friendship. So it was in these acts that everything began . . .”

Day 49: Listen to this audio clip with orthography of an Easter Hymn in Otoe. It is believed that this is a clip from the Otoe Baptist Church in Red Rock. The date is unknown. http://www.omtribe.org/index.php?culture-language

Day 50: In August of 1804, Lewis and Clark traveled through the lands of the Otoe & Missouria people. By this time the Missourias had joined with the Otoes for protection. According to the journals of Lewis "Those two parts of nations, Ottos and Missouries, now residing together is about 250 men. The Ottos composing 2/3 and Missouris 1/3".

Day 51: Many of the Otoes and Missourias were away hunting buffalo when the Lewis and Clark expedition reached their towns. The Corps sent out two men to search for the hunting party, but they returned without finding any sign. Lewis and Clark decided to proceed up the Missouri River without meeting the chiefs of the tribe.

Day 52: On July 22, 1804 Clark wrote in his journal "much nearer the Otteaus town than the Mouth of the Platt, we concluded to delay at this place a fiew days and Send for Some of the Chiefs of that nation to let them Know of the Change of Government. The wishes of our Government to Cultivate friendship with them. the Objects of our journey and to present them with a flag and some small presents."

Day 53: The following day Lewis and Clark sent George Drouillard and Peter Cruzatte with tobacco to the Otoes and Pawnees. Clark wrote in his journal “At this season of the year all the Indians in this quater are in the Plains hunting the Buffalo from Some Signs seen by our hunter and the Prairies being on fire in the derection of the Village induce a belief that the Nation have returned to get green Corn."
Day 54: When the men returned two days later on July 25 Clark wrote, “They saw fresh signs of a Small party but could not find them, they having taken precausions to Conceal the rout which they went out from the Village - the Inds. of the Missouries being at war with one & the other or other Indians, move in large bodies and Sometimes the whole nation continue to Camp together on their hunting pls "
Day 55: Three days later Clark wrote in his journal "Drewyer (Drouillard) brought in a Missourie Indian which he met with hunting in the Prairie. His party was small consisting of 20 lodges. This Indian is one of the fiew remaining of that nation, & lives with the Otteauz, his camp about 4 miles from the river, he informs that the 'great gangue' of the nation were hunting the Buffalow in the Plains.”
Day 56: Clark went on to note that the language spoken by the Missouria man “appeared to make use of the Same pronouncation of the Osarge (Osages), Calling a Chief Inca." The Osage and Missouria languages are both of the Siouan language family. It is possible that the Missouria man used the word “Hinka” which translates as “my father”. It should be noted that Clark’s spelling the Missouria language was burdened by the same treatment he gave the English language.
Day 57: As representatives of President Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark were charged with the responsibility of conveying U.S. sovereignty over the indigenous people they met on their journey. To do that, the captains felt they must meet with chiefs. On July 29, 1804 the expedition sent a Frenchman to invite the Otoe & Missouria Chiefs to another meeting.
Day 58: On July 30, the expedition decided to set up camp on a bluff on the west side of the Missouria River. This bluff became known as Council Bluffs from the meetings held there with the tribes during the next few days. The city of Council Bluffs, Iowa is named after this location although the city of Council Bluffs is actually several miles away from where Lewis & Clark made camp.

Day 59: August 2, 1804 Clark wrote "At sunset Mr. Fairfong (Ottoe interpreter resident with them) and an Otteau & Missourie Nation came to camp, among those Indians 6 were Chiefs. Capt. Lewis & myself met those Indians & informed them we were glad to see them and would speak to them tomorrow."

Day 60: The following day Lewis and Clark held the first formal meeting between official representatives of the United States and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. The soldiers marched in full regalia and demonstrated their skills with weaponry in a show of military strength. The utmost military decorum was observed at all times. This display establishes the routine for subsequent councils.
Day 61: Lewis & Clark continued their presentation with a speech that Lewis would make again and again to the tribes encountered on the way to the Pacific Coast. In essence, it was patronizing and audacious considering they were surrounded by tribes who could have done away with them at any time.
Day 62: During the Council, the Otoes & Missourias were told they were the “Children” of the “Great Father”. Clark wrote “after Delivering a Speech informing thos Children of ours of the Change which had taken place (the election of Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase), the wishes of our government to Cultivate friendship & good understanding, the method of good advice & Some Directions”
Day 63: The “good advice and Some Directions” were related to trade. The U.S. government wanted to acquire the exclusive trade of all the tribes encountered by the expedition. Therefore, Lewis & Clark offered trade and protection to the Otoes & Missourias if the tribes agreed to no longer trade with the French and the Spanish.
Day 64: Of the speech, Clark wrote in his journal “Those people expressed great satisfaction at the Speech Delivered. They are no orators.” How Captain Clark drew this conclusion is baffling considering all tribes documented and shared their customs, beliefs, practices and histories through oral tradition. Maybe this was lost in translation . . .

Day 65: Clark noted the response of the chiefs in his journal, "each Chief & principal man delivered a Speech acknowledging ther approbation to what they had heard and promised to prosue the good advice and Caustion, they were happy with Ther new fathers who gave good advice & to be Depended on." And they all lived happily ever after . . .

Day 66: At the conclusion of this first meeting, each chief received gifts including a Peace Medal. Following the practice established by European Kings with colonists, President Jefferson gave Lewis & Clark at least 89 Peace Medals to distribute to tribal leaders as tokens of friendship and the newly-established U.S. sovereignty over the lands acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

Day 67: Different types of Peace Medals were distributed to different Chiefs based on their perceived rank. Clark wrote “Delivered two of a medal of Second Grade to one for the Ottos & and one for the Missourie part of the nation present and 4 medals of a third Grade to the inferior Chief two for each tribe.”
Day 68: The Otoe & Missouria Chiefs were the first to receive Jefferson Peace Medals. To learn more about the Jefferson Peace Medal click the link http://lewis-clark.org/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=350
Day 69: Peace Medals became highly prized among Native people as future presidents also used them in relations and negotiations with tribes. As their popularity grew, private companies created their own Peace Medals to give away as well. Peace Medals are frequently seen in 19th century Native American portraiture and many Otoe-Missouria Chiefs are shown wearing their Peace Medals in historical archives.
Day 70-77 (one day for each honored chief): The chiefs that were present at the first meeting with Lewis and Clark were noted in Clark’s journal as “We ár ruge nor (Otoe) Little Thief, Sh n gŏ t n gŏ (Otoe) Big Horse , We the a (Missouria) Hospitality, Shon Guss Còn (Otoe) White Horse, Wau pe ùh (Missouria), Āh hŏ nīng gă (Missouria), Baza cou jà (Otoe), Āh hŏ n gă (Missouria).”
Day 78: In the summer of 2004, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe was invited to participate in the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commemoration. Several tribal representative traveled to Ft. Calhoun, NE to recreate the historic first council of Lewis & Clark with the Otoe & Missouria Tribes.
Day 79: Click the link to see some of the photos from the 2004 Bicentennial Commemoration. http://www.lewisandclark.net/photolog2004-13.html
Day 80: Life-size statues in Ft. Atkinson State Park commemorate and interpret the "First Council" between Captains Lewis and Clark of the Corps of Discovery and chiefs of the Otoe and Missouria Tribes on August 3, 1804. The statues were placed on the site that is believed to have been the location of the "Council Bluff" meeting. Click the link for more pictures.
Day 81: The First Council Casino in Newkirk, OK is named after the historic meeting between Lewis & Clark and the Otoe & Missouria chiefs. A replica of the statues commemoriating the meeting at Ft. Atkinson is on display at the entrance of the casino.
Day 82: The American War Mothers Otoe Indian Chapter #14 has been dedicated to the service of the Otoe Military service men and women since September 14, 1943. For 67 years, the mothers of service members have worked hard to send care packages, host dinners on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, stand vigilance at wakes, sit at the bedsides of the sick and acknowledge and give praise to warriors and veterans.
Day 83: The Otoe War Mothers were the first all-Indian Chapter of the American War Mothers Organization.
Day 84: The founding members of the Otoe War Mothers were--Ada Black, Madge Dent, Lina DeRoin, Fannie Grant, Mary Harragarra, Lizzie Homeratha, Thelma Hudson, Bessie Kent, Carrie Koshiway, Josie Littlecrow and Hazel Pettit.
Day 85: Mrs. Lorena DeRoin was the first Native American President of the National American War Mothers Organization. Photo taken in the 1960's shows the members at the time. Front row-Rachel Childs, Sarah Brown, Edna Moore, Vena DeRoin, Minnie Peters, Lizzie Harper. Back row-Vera Cleghorn, Irene Brown, Grace Kihega, Mamie Echohawk, Cordelia Gibson, Wilma Dent, Lorena DeRoin.
Day 86: A little over 25 years after their council meeting with Lewis & Clark, the Otoe & Missouria agreed to their first official cession of land to the United States in 1830. Additional cessions followed in 1833, 1836, and 1854.
Day 87: In 1830 the Otoe & Missouria negotiated another treaty with the United States that ceded their hunting grounds in Iowa to the government for white expansion.
Day 88: Also in 1830, the Nemaha Half-Breed Reservation was established by the Treaty of Prairie du Chien. This treaty set aside a tract of land in Nebraska for the mixed-race descendants of the Otoe, Iowa, Missouria Omaha, and the Yankton and Santee Sioux tribes.
Day 89: The land that on which the Nemaha Half-Breed Reservation was created originally belonged to the Otoes. For this reason, the treaty set forth that the Omahas, Iowas, and Yankton and Santee bands of Sioux would pay the Otoes the sum of $3000 for their "half-breeds" to live on the reservation.
Day 90: In 1860 the Nemaha Half-Breed Reservation was broken into individual allotments by the United States. Click the link to view a list of the assigned allottees http://ioway.nativeweb.org/genealogy/nemaha1860.htm
Day 91: Westward expansion by white settlers continued through the 19th century. The settlers encroached on the traditional lands of the Otoe-Missouria making them unable to participate in their traditional hunts. In 1833, the tribe moved from their older villages on the Platte and Missouri Rivers to present day Yutan (NE), where they were introduced to formal education.
Day 92: From 1833 to 1841, Otoe-Missouria pupils learned rudimentary reading and writing, but the principal instruction was in Christianity. Unsatisfied with the education they were receiving, the Otoe-Missouria destroyed the mission school. They then deserted the new village of Yutan for refuge deeper in the Platte Valley.
Day 93: The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, William Medill, presented a plan for the confinement of the Otoe-Missouria on a small reservation in 1848. Convincing the tribe that such placement was in their best interest took a few years.
Day 94: In 1853 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, George Manypenny assured the tribe that the reservation would be situated on old and familiar tribal territory. The tribe accepted the proposal.
Day 95: A small group of Otoe men traveled to Washington D.C., including Chief Arkeketa, were they signed a treaty. All of their land west of the Missouri River was ceded to the government, except for a tract that was to be the reservation--an area of approximately 162,000 acres.
Day 96: After the treaty was signed, the newly ceded lands were opened up to white settlement. Before the tribe could move to their new reservation, an influx of white settlers moved onto the land. "Chief Arkeketah petitioned the government in the fall, complaining of the encroachment on the villages. The Otoe-Missouria decided to move to the newly assigned reservation as hastily as possible."
Day 97: Discontent with the original tract of land assigned to be their new home, the Otoe-Missouria requested that the tentative reservation be moved five miles to the east side of the Big Blue River. They desired a more defensible location with access to timber. This request necessitated a supplemental treaty signed on December 9, 1854.
‎Day 98: Despite the delays, the tribe was destined to move again. Protesting the Treaty of March, 1854, the tribe complained to Agent George Hapner that the provisions of the treaty had not been met.
Day 99: Hepner offered them services and goods that amounted to about $8,000 in compensation. He also told the tribe that they would be removed and relocated to the reservation--by force if necessary.
Day 100: "Shortly thereafter, the tribe began their walk of removal. The whole tribe of less than 500 people, with meager supplies and minimal possessions departed for the Big Blue River and reservation life." The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoirs
Day 101: For 26 years the Big Blue Reservation in southeastern Nebraska was the home of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. It was a strip of land 25 miles in length and 10 miles wide.
Day 102: The site was selected on the basis of its potential agricultural yield, the Otoe-Missouria were not a farming people. The women had sown patches of crops since time immorial, but the tribe was actually hunter-gatherers and had chosen to follow the buffalo for subsistence.
Day 103: With confinement to the reservation, the government hoped to promote agriculture and banned the bufffalo hunt.
Day 104: The lands actually known to be Otoe and/or Missouria lands and hunting grounds were located where the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas meet. Once confined to the reservation, these lands were ceded to white settlers.
Day 105: Although the promised annuity payments from the government were not paid, an agency farm, saw & grist mill and school were constructed on the reservation. A Blacksmith shop was also built. The miller-engineer hired to build the mill employed an Otoe man to be his assistant--Robert Faw Faw.
Day 106: More than 120 Otoe-Missouria people returned to Nebraska this past weekend for an exhibition powwow. Check out the photos of the event by following the link. http://kearneyhub.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=1270523&CategoryID=47304&ListSubAlbums=0&thisPage=1
Day 107: When some of the government annuity payments did arrive, Agent Dennison stole $13,000 and fled the reservation. After drought destroyed their crops, the annuity money was needed to buy food for the tribal members. The environment and the theft added to the miserable existence and anger of the Otoe-Missouria on the Big Blue Reservation.

Day 108: Enraged and desperate, the tribe (including women and children) pursued Dennison and took him captive until he returned $4,000 of the annuity money. The Otoe-Missouria never received the rest. The office of Indian Affairs chose to ignore the incident.

Day 109: John Baker was assigned as agent after Dennison. By his term however, the tribe was fed up with the disreputable agents and the dishonest white Nebraska businessmen who pilfered annuity money from the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. Frustrated with their treatment, the tribe set the agency wheat field on fire in protest of the life that was being forced upon them.

Day 110: The period of 1867-1869 was extremely hard for the tribe. They suffered from reduced rations, severe winters and an alarming mortality rate. Agent Green documented some common phrases in Otoe-Missouria such as “my children are very sick”, “no medicine and cannot eat” and “my wife is sick and very bad”.

Day 111: Under these conditions a new treaty was “negotiated” in February 1869. The treaty set forth that part of the reservation would be sold to railroad lines for right-of-way and that 92,000 acres would be surveyed and appraised for sale. It also stated that a delegation would be sent to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to explore a new settlement.

Day 112: Tribal reaction concerning the treaty was decidedly mixed. Part of the people considered removal to be a better alternative than staying on the Big Blue. Others felt that the tribe should cling to the land regardless of the hardships. The rift would widen and eventually split the tribe.

Day 113: The tribe divided into two main groups—the Coyote Band and the Quaker Band. These bands were based on ideology, not clan or birthrights. The Coyote Band favored immediate removal to Indian Territory and Medicine Horse was their principal spokesman. The Quaker Band favored staying on the Big Blue Reservation.

Day 114: The citizens of Nebraska and Kansas were making constant demands to acquire Otoe-Missouria land. As a result, the Indian Office would appoint new “chiefs” whenever traditional leaders disagreed on the sale of tribal lands.

Day 115: After years of suffering under the Office of Indian Affairs, the Coyote Band, led by Little Pipe and consisting of some 160 Otoe-Missouria people, escaped the Big Blue reservation for a new life in Indian Territory.

Day 116: For the remaining tribal members conditions worsened. They petitioned the government to remove the entire tribe to Indian Territory in hopes of a better life. On October 5, 1881 a procession of 320 Otoe-Missouria left Nebraska for a new reservation in Indian Territory purchased with the funds from the sale of the remaining lands of the Big Blue.

Day 117: “Tribal possessions were transported by wagon and ponies. Har-re-ga-raw and Woodin attempted to keep order within the tribe as they travelled, with the assistance of the Indian police. The assemblage walked for eighteen days and arrived at the new agency on October 23, 1881.” The Coyote Band rejoined the tribe at the Red Rock site in 1890. –The Otoe-Missouria Elders: Centennial Memoir

Day 118: The original reservation of Otoe-Missouria Tribe was broken up in the Allotment Act (or Dawes Act of 1887). The lands were surveyed and given to individual Indians of the tribe. Land deemed “surplus” was opened for white settlement. Today, Oklahoma has only one reservation. It is the Osage reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.

Day 119: Although they brought few possessions, the Otoe-Missouria people brought with them traditions from Nebraska their traditions. They established a summer camp west of the agency where they continued their annual summer gathering.

Day 120: In the early 20th century the summer dance grounds were moved to their current location across the creek from the agency. Bathrooms, showers and electricity have been installed for campers and RVs to make the heat a little more tolerable.

Day 121: At one time, the tribe also held a Winter Encampment with tribal members and other tribal people coming from all over to attend this event.

Day 122: The practice of hosting a Winter Encampment came to end in the middle of the 20th century.

Day 123: In the 1980’s the tribe held another Winter Encampment at the old Bingo Hall. Bobbie Kihega still has a jacket he got at the event and wears it proudly. He says that thousands of people came in the cold of winter to celebrate the four days of dancing inside the vast hall.

Day 124: The idea of hosting another Winter Encampment has been considered lately, but finding a location that can accommodate the large number of attendees is a challenge.

Day 125: Today, the Otoe-Missouria tribe’s annual encampment held in mid-July is one of the events many Kiowa people visit as campers and visitors. Many Kiowas have expressed the Otoe people are one of the most welcoming and gracious tribal hosts. Over the years, many Otoes visit and take part in the annual July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Kiowa gourd dance celebrations. Submitted by Modina Waters

Day 126: Traditionally the Summer Encampment begins with a blessing of the grounds. Campers are not allowed to set up their camp until the blessing is complete.

Day 127: Campsites are passed down from one generation to the next. In the past few years, new camping areas have been cleared for the growing number of attendees, but space is still tight and competition is fierce for good camp spots. Please be respectful of your fellow tribal members when setting up your camp.
Day 128: The Buffalo Clan is the first clan to set up their camps at the Encampment grounds. Other clans follow.
Day 129: A mourners dinner is held on Wednesday evening each year for all tribal members who have lost family in the previous year. Traditionally, families who have lost a tribal member do not participate in the Encampment for one year, so the dinner may be the only participation that these tribal members may have at the Encampment. However, traditions differ from family to family and clan to clan.
Day 130: The Otoe-Missouria Tribe celebrated 130 years of Encampment in Oklahoma in 2011.