History of Indiana

Chippewa Indian

This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Indiana.

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Indiana resulted in the adoption of the Northeast Woodlands culture

Discover the history, interesting facts and information about the way of life of the Indiana Indians before the arrival of the white European settlers and colonists.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Indiana Indians
Factors that contributed to the history of the state are detailed in the History Timeline. The history timeline shows the impact of the new comers to the state.

Stone Age History of Indiana
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Indiana led a Stone Age lifestyle - they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel. The history of the Indiana Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Indiana
The map of Indiana provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Indiana Indians in relation to the present day United States of America. The map indicates the location of the State and the American Native Indians of Indiana.


State Map of Indiana

State Map showing location of Indiana Indians

State Map showing location of Indiana Indians


Names of the Indiana State Indian Tribes
Indiana’s earliest inhabitants were groups of Native Americans known as
Mound Builders. The Potawatomi were the last group of Native Americans to enter Indiana and the last to leave. Indiana is a state of the north-central United States. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Indiana. The names of the Indiana tribes included the Illinois tribe (Illini), Chippewa, Lenape (Delaware), Erie, Iroquois, Kickapoo, Potawatomi and Miami.

Fast Facts about the History of Indiana Native Indians
The way of life and history of Indiana Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available in the State of Indiana. The natural resources and materials available provided the food, clothing and houses of the Indiana Indians. Fast facts about the history, culture and life of the State of Indiana Indians. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Indiana Indians.

  • Name of State: Indiana
  • Meaning of State name: Named after the Indian word meaning 'Land of the Indians'
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Indiana: Hilly south; fertile rolling plains in central area, flat, heavily glaciated north and dunes along Lake Michigan shore
  • Culture adopted by Indiana Indians: Northeast Woodlands Cultural Group
  • Languages: Iroquoian and Algonquian
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Wigwams (aka Birchbark houses) and Longhouses

History Timeline of the Indiana Indians
The history and the way of life of Indiana Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians. For a comprehensive History timeline regarding the early settlers and colonists refer to the
Colonial America Time Period. The history of the State and of its Native American Indians is detailed in a simple History Timeline. This Indiana Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Indiana Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Indiana Indians.

Indiana History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Indiana

10,000 BC: Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth.

1700 BC: Mound Builders culture, a feature of many Woodland tribes

1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming

1300: Mississippian culture period of Mound builders

1500: Indiana was first explored by the French

1541: Hernando de Soto (1500-1542) explores Indiana

1640: 1640 - 1701 - The Beaver Wars, also known as the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars - see Iroquois Confederacy

1671: Simon Daumont de Saint-Lusson declares the region for France 

1679: Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle explores Indiana

1689: 1688 - 1763 The French and Indian Wars between France and Great Britain for lands in North America. The Iroquois Indians were allied to the French and the Algoquian speaking tribes were allied to the British. The French and Indian Wars was a generic names for a series of wars, battles and conflicts involving the French colonies in Canada and Louisiana and the 13 British colonies consisting of:

King William's War (1688-1699)
Queen Anne's War (1702-1713)
King George's War (1744 - 1748)
French and Indian War aka the Seven Years War (1754-1763)

1747: The  Huron chief, King Nicolas, influenced by the British, attack the French Fort Miami

1752: A smallpox plague strike the Indian population

1754: 1754 - 1763: The French Indian War is won by Great Britain against the French so ending the series of conflicts known as the French and Indian Wars

1763: Treaty of Paris

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1777: Indians encouraged by the British to attack the frontier Americans.

1785: Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) in Indiana and Ohio, also known as Little Turtle's war - refer to Little Turtle. The Americans suffered 2 humiliating defeats by the American Native Indians until they won the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.

1785: Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) in Indiana and Ohio. The Americans suffered 2 humiliating defeats by the American Native Indians until they won the Battle of Fallen Timbers

1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land

1805: Potawatomi and other chiefs signed treaties at Fort Wayne, Fort Industry (1805), and Grouseland (1805), ceding portions of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois

1811: Tecumseh's War - Battle of Tippecanoe (1811–1813) Also refer to Tecumseh

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1815: Treaty between the United States of America and the Wyandot, Delaware, Seneca, Shawanoe, Miami, Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi, Tribes of Indians, residing within the limits of the State of Ohio, and the Territories of Indiana and Michigan

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Indiana

State of Indiana History Timeline

History of Indiana Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Indiana had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Indiana Indians.


  • History of Indiana Indians
  • Interesting Facts and information about the Indiana Culture and History
  • Names of indigenous Indiana tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts, History Timeline and info
  • Map of Indiana
  • History Timeline of the Indiana Indians

State of Indiana Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Indiana Indian History. Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various Native American tribes that can be used as an educational history resource for kids and children. We hope that this article on the History of Indiana Indians  will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the Native Americans. A great historical educational resource for kids on the subject of the History of Indiana Indians..


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