Miami (indigenous people of North America)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Miami (indigenous people of North America)

Miami (mīăm´ē, –ə), group of Native Americans of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They shared the cultural traits of the Eastern Woodlands area and the Plains area, hunting the buffalo that ranged through much of their territory. In the mid-17th cent. the Miami held land in W Wisconsin, NE Illinois, and N Indiana. In the mid-18th cent., however, the invading northern tribes drove the Miami to NW Ohio. The Miami occupied this territory until the treaty of 1763, when they retired to Indiana. They then numbered some 1,700. The Miami had aided the French in the French and Indian Wars, and they helped the British in the American Revolution. With their chief Little Turtle, the Miami were prominent in the Indian wars of the Old Northwest. By 1827 they had ceded most of their lands in Indiana and had agreed to move to Kansas. Most of them went (1840) to Kansas and then moved (1867) to Oklahoma, where they were placed on a reservation. Since then the land has been divided among them. There is also a group of Miami in Indiana. In 1990 there were some 4,500 Miami in the United States.

See B. Anson, The Miami Indians (1970).

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