History of Iowa

Iowa Warrior

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

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Iowa resulted in the adoption of the Woodlands culture and some adopted the Great Plains Indians culture.

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

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Iowa 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 Iowa
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Iowa 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 Iowa Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Iowa
The map of Iowa provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Iowa 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 Iowa.


State Map of Iowa

State Map showing location of Iowa Indians

State Map showing location of Iowa Indians


Names of the Iowa Indian Tribes
The Iowa, Miami, Ottawa, and Sioux tribes lived along the Mississippi River. The Omaha, Otoe, and Missouri tribes lived in the western part of the state. 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 Iowa. Some tribes adopted the woodland culture and others the Great Plains culture. The woodland tribes were the Illinois, Iowa, Nez Perce, Pahodja, Pawnee, Winnebago, Missouria, Moingwena, Omaha, Otoe, Ottawa, Peoria, Ponca, Potawatomi and the Winnebago (also known as the Ho-Chunk Nation). Other tribes included the Chippewa, Dakota Sioux, Fox and Sauk. By the 1850s, almost all of the original inhabitants of Iowa had been moved off their homelands to settlements further west.

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

  • Name of State: Iowa
  • Meaning of State name: The name of a tribe meaning “Sleepy Ones.”
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Iowa: Flat with a variety of areas including drift plains, hardwood forests, rugged hills and river valleys
  • Culture adopted by Iowa Indians: Woodlands cultural group and some adopted the Great Plains culture
  • Languages: Muskogean
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunters and Fishers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Longhouses, Pit houses, tepees, tule-mat lodges

History Timeline of the Iowa Indians
The history and the way of life of Iowa 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 Iowa Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Iowa Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Iowa Indians. 1800's Conflict erupts between settlers and Native Indians of Iowa including the Chippewa, Dakota, Sauk Fox, Illinois, Iowa, Nez Perce, Pawnee, Winnebago, Missouri, Moingwena, Omaha, Oto, Ottawa, Peoria, Ponca, Potawatomi, and Winnebago throughout the 1800's. The Native Indians were forced farther and farther West

Iowa History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Iowa

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 and giant bison.

7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools

1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming

1682: Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle (1643-1687) explored the region for France

1712: The First French Fox War (1712–1716)

1728: The Second Fox War (1728–1733), the Fox were reduced to 500 by French troops and Indian allies. The Fox tribe join the Sauk Tribe after defeat

1764: Pontiac's Rebellion broke out in the Ohio River Valley. The Ottawa Chief Pontiac (1720-1769) to lead a rebellion of a number of tribes against the British

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

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

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

1804: Intoxicated Sauk Fox Indians tricked into signing a treaty giving away tribal lands

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

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: The "Black Hawk War" and the Fox Sauk tribe was forced to cede their land - see Black Hawk

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1846: The Potawatomi Cede land in western Iowa

1851: The Sioux Cession removes the final Native American Indian claim to land in Iowa

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 Iowa

State of Iowa History Timeline

History of Iowa 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 Iowa 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 Iowa Indians.


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

State of Iowa Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Iowa 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 Iowa 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 Iowa Indians..


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