History of Nebraska

Kiowa warrior

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

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

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

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

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

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


State Map of Nebraska

State Map showing location of Nebraska Indians

State Map showing location of Nebraska Indians


Names of the Nebraska Indian Tribes
Nebraska is a state of the central United States in the Great Plains. 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 Nebraska. The names of the Nebraska tribes included the Cheyenne, Comanche, Chippewa, Delaware, Fox, Omaha, Kansas, Kiowa (see above picture), Missouri, Iowa, Otoe, Sauk and the Pawnee.

Nebraska - Indian Territory
Indian Territory was a vast area of U.S. federal territory on the Great Plains reserved for Indians from the 1830s to the 1880s. In the 1870's the deliberate great slaughter of the northern bison herds began designed to prevent the Native Indians continuing the Great Plains lifestyle. Indian Territory eventually became the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. By 1907, when Oklahoma was admitted as a state, Indian Territory ceased to exist.

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

  • Name of State: Nebraska
  • Meaning of State name: From an Otoe word meaning “Broad Water.”
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Nebraska: Great Plains and hill country
  • Culture adopted by Nebraska Indians: Great Plains Cultural Group
  • Languages: Due to the number of migrant tribes in this area people spoke a variety of languages including Siouan, Algonquian, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan and Athabaskan
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Nomadic Hunters and farmers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Tepees were used by the nomadic hunters. The semi-nomadic tribes used tepees but also maintained permanent earth lodge villages situated along rivers, others built houses of grass. The farmers used Earth lodges

History Timeline of the Nebraska Indians
The history and the way of life of Nebraska 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 Nebraska Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Nebraska Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Nebraska Indians.

Nebraska History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Nebraska

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.

9000 BC: Clovis Culture (named after artefacts found at Clovis, New Mexico. These people used a distinctive type of fluted arrow point

7500 BC: Folsom Culture (named after artefacts found at Folsom, New Mexico. These people used flint arrow point in the shape of a leaf)

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

1541: Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (1510-1554) explores the area

1682: René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) explores the area 

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

1830: Indian Removal Act

1830: Traders took the first wagons to the Rocky Mountains - the Oregon Trail

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1834: The First Dragoon Expedition of 1834 (also called the Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition or Pawnee expedition) was the first official contact between the US government and the Plains Indians including the Pawnee and Comanche

1855: The Battle of Ash Hollow fought between the Sioux and whites.

1859: The Pawnees clashed with settlers, and troops were sent to subdue them

1858: 1858-1859 - Wichita expedition in Indian Territory

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

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

1863: 1863-1869 War against the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche Indians in Kansas, Nebraska (Territory), Colorado (Territory) and Oklahoma Indian Territory

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

1870's: The deliberate great slaughter of the northern bison herds to prevent the Native Indians continuing the Great Plains lifestyle

1874: Sioux expedition, Wyoming (Territory) and Nebraska

1874: 1874-1875 - Campaign against Kiowa, Cheyenne and Comanche Indians in Indian Territory

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 Nebraska

State of Nebraska History Timeline

History of Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska Indians.


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

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


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