The name Kickapoo is derived from
Kiwigapawa which means "he moves about, standing now here, now
there." The tribe has also been known as the "Mexican Kickapoo"
and "Texas Kickapoo."
The Kickapoo Tribe belongs to the Algonquian linguistic family. They have a close ethnic tie to the Sac and Fox tribe.
A Catholic missionary found the tribe
living in southern Wisconsin around 1667. After the French and Indian War
(and the resulting breakup of the Illinois tribe), the Kickapoo moved into
what is now southern Illinois. Treaty relations with the U.S. began with
the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. A treaty in 1819 ceded all Kickapoo
lands in Illinois (nearly half that state) and assigned them a reservation
in Missouri at which point part of the tribe moved to Texas.
The Kickapoo have always been independent
and clannish, especially in retaining their tribal religious beliefs and
ceremonies. They lived in their traditional bark-covered houses, which
were arranged in villages, up to the last years the reservation existed.
They were mainly farming people, but went to hunt buffalo in the West and
so they became one of the first tribes from the Illinois country to learn
Gilcrease & Philbrook Museums (Tulsa); exhibits at the State Museum of History (OKC).