History Of The Tribe

Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska

The Sac and Fox people have long been known for their cultural independence. Despite the many hardships that they have faced over the years, which included losing the majority of their land and people, they have remained a viable group who are proud of their ancestors and heritage.

The Sauk/Sac were called the 'People of the Yellow Earth' which distinguishes them from the Foxes who were called the 'Red Earth People'. The Sac and Fox Nation are Algonquian speaking people and are of the Woodland culture. The Sac and Fox people lived in bark houses in small villages. The Sac social organization consisted of clans : Bear, Sturgeon, Thunder and Wolf.

The Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri people and their ancestors have been historically located in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. The Sac and Fox of the Missouri band were finally settled to the northeast corner of Kansas.

One of the largest Indian villages in North America was Saukenuk located between the Rock and Mississippi rivers in Illinois. At this time it included approximately 4,000 Sac and Fox people. The Treaty of 1804 ceded all this land to the government and ultimately started the Black Hawk War in 1832. Black Hawk did not believe this treaty was valid and vowed not to give in to the government. His autobiography was published in 1872. Black Hawk said, "How smooth must be the languages of the whites. When they can make right look like wrong and wrong like right."

Keokuk was a famous Sauk chief who was in favor of peaceful relations with the EuroAmericans. Keokuk was buried in Kansas, but his body was later take back to Keokuk, Iowa, where the city still honors his name.

Mokohoko was a leader when the removal of the Sac and Foxes from Kansas took place in 1869. Mokohoko and some 200 followers refused to go to Oklahoma.

There are three bands of Sac and Fox, and they all have their own distinct government and enrollment processes. They are federally recognized:

  • Meskwaki - Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa
  • Sa ki wa ki - Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma
  • Ne ma ha ha ki - The Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska.
  • The Sauk and Fox were originally two distinct groups. During the 1700s, a French attack on the Foxes caused the two tribes to join forces and form a close alliance which helped to affect unification. The Treaty of 1815 officially named the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri as a distinct tribe, and they were removed to northeast Missouri from Iowa and Illinois.

The Treaty of 1837 removed the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri into Kansas across the Missouri river to the Great Nemaha reservation in Doniphan and Brown counties. The Missouri band became officially know as the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska.

The Nation has a Museum located in Reserve, Kansas which has displays of artifacts, pictures and more history.

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