Seven Tribes of Missouri

Did you know the name "Missouri" is a Siouan Indian word? It comes from the tribal name Missouria, which means "big canoe people." The Missouri Indians were not the only native people of this region, however.

Seven Tribes
There were seven tribes in the area of what is now called Missouri:

There were additional tribes who traveled through Missouri during Indian forced removals and relocations:

  • The Cherokee tribe
  • The Delaware tribe
  • The Kickapoo tribe
  • The Sac and Fox tribe
  • The Shawnee tribe

Missouri Tribes Today
There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Missouri today.

Most Native Americans were forced to leave Missouri during the Indian Removals of the 1800's. So, it is important to note that these tribes are not extinct, even though they do not live in Missouri anymore. They were moved to Indian reservations in Oklahoma where the majority live today.

There is a band from the Cherokee Nation who were able to break away during the time that the forced migration was occurring on the Trail of Tears through Missouri. This band continues to maintain an office in Missouri today, even though this band is not federally recognized, nor are there any reservations in the state for any tribal peoples. You can reach the band at:

Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory
1012 Old Highway 63 N
Columbia, MO 65201

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 Cherokee detachments followed westward. Today the trail encompasses about 2,200 miles of land and water routes, and traverses portions of nine states. The National Park Service, in partnership with other federal agencies, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and private landowners, administers the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Participating national historic trail sites display the official trail logo.

Below are two maps depicting the route taken and highlights the Trail of Tears Historical Trail in a MO State Park that is located at:  

429 Moccasin Springs
Jackson, MO 63755-8295



Seven Tribes
PS Tribes
Courtesy of PBS Louis and Clark – Core of Discovery
Medicine Wheel – Four Directions
Maps and MO Tribal information Courtesy of

Maps and MO Tribal information Courtesy of

Maps and MO Tribal information Courtesy of

Maps and MO Tribal information Courtesy of