Scroll To Top
Touring Ohio


The name Chippewa is an adaptation of Ojibwa which meant 'to roast till puckered up' referring to the puckered seam that formed in the way they made their moccasins. The Chippewa were one of the largest tribes in North America ranging from the shores of the upper Great Lakes extending across Minnesota and into what would become North Dakota. Although strong in numbers and occupying an extensive amount of territory, the Chippewa never played a pivotal role in history. This was primarily because of their remote location and distance from the frontier during critical periods colonial fighting. While the Chippewa were present in Ohio and had a representative at the Treaty of Greenville, as well as other treaty agreements concluded in 1807 and 1817, they were never a major population in the Ohio Country.


The Delaware lived in Ohio for a considerable time in the course of their migration west under pressure from European settlements. The Delaware consisted of a confederacy of Algonquian tribes. Originally they occupied the entire basin around the Delaware River in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New York, most of New Jersey and Delaware. They called themselves Lenape or Lenilenape, equivalent to 'real men,' or 'native, genuine men'. The first English speaking immigrants to North America called them Delaware based on the name of the principal river flowing through the area. French settlers called them Loups meaning 'wolves,' a term probably applied originally to the Mohican on Hudson rivers.

With the increasing number of Europeans establishing themselves in close proximity to the Lenape, they began migrating west and for a time settled along the Muskingum River. Feeling the same pressure they felt along the east coast, they moved further west and settled along the Auglaize River. This was on the same land claimed by the Miamis and Wyandots. They again moved from the Auglaize River area to the White River in Indiana, which is a branch of the Wabash. In the Ohio Country they showed themselves to be brave in war and skillful in the chase.


The Erie lived along the southern shore of Lake Erie, which was named for this tribe. The term Erie has been defined differently in various resources. Some say it refers to the group as the Cat Nation. Some suggest it is an Iroquois term referring to "long tail" associated with the panther. Others references infer that the term meant "wild cat" referring to the raccoon, which is native to North America and in plentiful supply as a food source the Erie relied upon as well as fish.

The Erie lived across all of northern Ohio (except the upper northwest corner) and southeastern Ohio, perhaps as far south as the Ohio River. Little is known of this tribe except what was related by Iroquois tribe in the a final struggle between the Erie and Iroquois Nations. This bloody conflict resulted in the Erie Nation's complete destruction. The war lasted from 1653 to 1654. Some of the so-called Seneca of Oklahoma may have been descendants from Erie refugees that fled Ohio as a result of this extermination.


The Honniasont tribe occupied parts of the eastern fringe of Ohio after they were incorporated into the Iroquois.


The Illinois were a confederacy of Algonquian tribes, that primarily occupied southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and sections of Iowa and Missouri. While not part of Ohio's Native Americans, representatives of the Illinois were parties to the Treaty of Greenville.


After the destruction or dispersal of the Erie and a few other native tribes in Ohio, a number of Iroquois settlements were established here. One of the most prolific were the Seneca who settled mostly in western portion of the Ohio Country..


The Mingos in Ohio were a small group and a branch of the Iroquois. They formerly occupied the eastern portion of the Ohio Country near Steubenville, and later settled upon the banks of the Scioto where Columbus now stands. They only had 3 small villages, one was just southwest of were Nationwide Arena is now located. Another at the west end of the Harrisburg bridge is located and the other near the east side of the Green Lawn bridge. The famous Chief Logan was their most noted chief and at one time possessed great influence not only over his own but all the other tribes northwest of the Ohio River.


It is believed that the Miami Indians as Europeans called them, originated from the upper Mississippi area and expanded their influence throughout the Great Lakes area and areas south of there. By the time the first Europeans arrive in America, they had expanded into areas now known as Indiana, Illinois, and southern Michigan. By the early 1700s they had moved into the Maumee River Valley which ran from mid Indiana up to Lake Erie.


The Ottawa Indians originally lived along the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario and western Quebec when European settles first arrived in the early 1600s. They moved into northern Ohio around 1740 and were part of the Algonquian Indians and are thus related to the Delaware, Miami, and Shawnee Indians. They were enemies of the Iroquois Indians and never really trusted the Wyandotte Indians because they were related to the Iroquois.


Representatives of this tribe were parties to the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 and to treaties made in 1805, 1807, and 1817 by which their Ohio land were relinquished to American settlers.


Shawnee were in Ohio at very early periods. They came here after being driven from the Cumberland Valley by the Chickasaw and Cherokee shortly after 1714. Over the years they worked their way north into Ohio and were joined by the former eastern and southern bands. The Shawnee became the major Native American group in Ohio and even after the Treaty of Greenville, they had considerable influence over many of the other nations. Legendary leaders of the Shawnee included Blue Jacket and Tecumseh.


Meaning perhaps "islanders," or "dwellers on a peninsula." Occasionally spelled Guyandot. At an earlier date they were commonly known as Huron, a name given by the French from hur?, "head," and the deprecating suffix -on, meaning rough head probably because the men often wore their hair in what we call today, a Mohawk. The Wyandot were mostly friendly with the other tribes, and in particular with the Shawnee and Mingo. The exception to this were the Iroquois. The Iroquois forced the Wyandot out of Canada and into the Ohio Country. They first began entering Ohio in the northwestern corner and settled in and around the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers, but they had scattered villages across much of Ohio.