Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Wyandotte (tribe)

WYANDOTTE.

The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized American Indian tribe of 4,410 members (2003). The first known Wyandotte (Wendat, meaning "islanders" or "dwellers on a peninsula") villages were situated near present Montreal, Canada. The French, who called the Wyandotte "the Huron," reached them circa 1536 when the tribe warred with the Five Nations of the Iroquois. Defeated in 1649, the Wyandotte fled westward and took shelter with the Ottawa and Illinois tribes. Of the estimated twenty thousand Wyandotte in 1639, only about seventeen hundred survived by 1700.

During the early 1700s most of the Wyandotte migrated to the Ohio River Valley and parts of present Indiana. A large party moved from the Detroit vicinity to the present Sandusky, Ohio, area around 1745. With permission from the Shawnee and the Delaware, the Wyandotte made claims north of the Ohio River. A 1785 treaty with the United States set the tribe's territorial boundaries to include much of present Ohio and part of Indiana. The Treaty of Greenville in 1795 further restricted them with additional land cessions to the United States.

The Fort Miegs Treaty of 1817 marked the loss of most of the Wyandotte domain in Ohio and Michigan. A twelve square-mile tract was designated the Wyandotte Reserve at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Another one square-mile section was included along nearby Broken Sword Creek. Tracts were added to the reserve in 1818, and acreage was given to the Wyandotte along the Huron River in Michigan.

In 1842 a treaty was signed which ceded all Wyandotte land in Ohio and Michigan to the United States. A trans-Mississippi tract of 148,000 acres was promised to the tribe. The Wyandotte were removed west, and the remainder of their Ohio land was sold. They bought and settled on forty thousand acres of the Delaware reservation in present eastern Kansas in 1843. In 1867 the Wyandotte were removed from Kansas and received a reservation of twenty thousand acres in northeastern Indian Territory (present Oklahoma). This land was allotted to 241 tribe members by 1893.

The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma was organized in 1937 with bylaws and a constitution. Their present land base is centered around Wyandotte in Ottawa County. Tribe operations include a motor fuel outlet and a gaming casino. Other large concentrations of Wyandotte are found in Kansas and Quebec, Canada.

Rick Stansfield

See also: AMERICAN INDIANS, INDIAN TERRITORY

Bibliography

Grant Foreman, The Last Trek of the Indians: An Account of the Removal of the Indians from North of the Ohio River (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946).

Barry M. Pritzker, A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Elisabeth Tooker, "Wyandot," in Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 15, Northeast, ed. Bruce G. Trigger (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1978).

Muriel H. Wright, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1951).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photograph Archives (unless otherwise stated).


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Rick Stansfield, "Wyandotte (tribe)," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed December 17, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia