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American Indians in Ohio

Ohio’s original settlers were tribes of American Indians, who first arrived in the Ohio area during the Paleoindian Period (13,000 BC to 7,000 BC). As these tribes grew, their population became more concentrated in smaller areas. Groups such as the Adena and Hopewell began to create earthworks (an earthen embankment made by altering an area of land, especially on a large scale) for burial or religious ceremonies. Some of these earthworks still exist around the state today.

When Europeans came to America, they traded peacefully with the Indian tribes. By this time, the native tribes were living in a network of highly developed communities. However, tensions flared as the Europeans began to settle in Ohio, most notably during the French and Indian War during the 1750s. The two groups clashed over land throughout the next 60 years as Shawnee Chief Tecumseh strove to unite the tribes in resistance to the new settlers. The struggle ended with Tecumseh’s death during the War of 1812. The last Indian tribe left Ohio in 1843.

 Among the tribes occupying land in Ohio were:

  • The Shawnee
  • Chippewa
  • Ojibwa
  • Delaware
  • Wyandot
  • Eel River Indians
  • Kaskaskia
  • Iroquois
  • Miami
  • Munsee
  • Mingo
  • Ottawa
  • Piankashaw
  • Sauk
  • Potawatomi
  • Seneca
  • Wea