History of Michigan

Miami Warrrior

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

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

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

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

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

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


State Map of Michigan

State Map showing location of Michigan Indians

State Map showing location of Michigan Indians


Names of the Michigan Indian Tribes
Michigan is a Midwestern state in north central United States in the Great Lakes region. 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 Michigan. The names of the Michigan tribes included the Huron, Menominee, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Miami (see above picture), Noquet, Ottawa and Fox tribes.

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

  • Name of State: Michigan
  • Meaning of State name: From the Indian word “Michigamea, meaning “Great Water.”
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Michigan: Hills, level land with swampy areas, the western region is higher and more rugged
  • Culture adopted by Michigan 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 Michigan Indians
The history and the way of life of Michigan 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 Michigan Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Michigan Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Michigan Indians.

Michigan History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Michigan

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.

7500 BC: Eastern Woodland Culture of Fisher Hunters begins. Permanent houses and farming

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

4000 BC: Old Copper culture begins in the Great Lakes region in which native copper was utilized to produce a wide variety of tools axes, adzes, arrow head points, knives, fishhooks and harpoons

1622: Etienne Brule (1592-1632) and a French-Huron reach Michigan

1634: Jean Nicolet explores Lake Michigan for France

1763: 1763-1675 -- Pontiac's Rebellion, Chief Pontiac's tries to force British out of the West, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.

1763: Treaty of Paris

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

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

1819: The Treaty of Saginaw cedes nearly 6 million acres of Indian lands to Michigan settlers forcing them farther West

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1832: Black Hawk War occurred in Northern Illinois, Michigan, Southwestern Wisconsin including the Battle of Bad Axe - see Black Hawk

1837: Michigan admitted to the Union

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 Michigan

State of Michigan History Timeline

History of Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan Indians.


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

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


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