History of Oklahoma

Kaw warrior

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

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

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

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

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

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


State Map of Oklahoma

State Map showing location of Oklahoma Indians

State Map showing location of Oklahoma Indians


Names of the Oklahoma Indian Tribes
Oklahoma is a state of the south-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 Oklahoma. The original tribes of the area included the Apache, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa, Osage and the Wichita tribes. The tribes that were relocated to Oklahoma included the Arapaho, Cayuga, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Delaware, Fox, Iowa, Kaw (see above picture), Kickapoo, Miami, Otoe, Modoc, Ottawa, Pawnee, Ponca, Potawatomi, Quapaw, Sauk, Seneca, Shawnee, Wyandotte and Yuchi.

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

  • Name of State: Oklahoma
  • Meaning of State name: Two Choctaw words were combined to mean red person - "ukla" meaning person and "huma" meaning red to form the word
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Oklahoma: High plains, hills, small mountains and River Basin
  • Culture adopted by Oklahoma Indians: Southeast Cultural Group and some adopted the Great Plains culture
  • Languages: Muskogean
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter gatherers and hunter farmers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Asi Wattle and Daub houses

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

Indian Wars - 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. 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. During the 1700's many different tribes from the great Indian Nations were forced to move from their homelands and were granted land in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Oklahoma

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.

1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming

1540: Hernando de Soto (1500-1542) explores Oklahoma in search of gold

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

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

1800: 1817 Fort Smith, a military post, was established at the mouth of the Poteau River, on the eastern border of Oklahoma

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1832: 1832-1839: Removal of the Cherokee Indians, one of the "Five Civilized Tribes", to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears

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

1836: 1836 - 1837 - The Second Creek War (Seminole War) 

1858: 1858-1859 - Wichita expedition in Indian Territory

1860: Kiowa and Comanche expedition, Indian Territory. To remove the Kiowa and Comanche from the area of the Arkansas River.

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

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

1877: A group of 972 Cheyenne were escorted to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The government intended to re-unite both the Northern and Southern Cheyenne into one nation.

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

1909: Crazy Snake Rebellion between the Creek Indians and white settlers in Oklahoma

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Oklahoma

State of Oklahoma History Timeline

History of Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Indians.


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

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


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