Tribal Relations

Over 500 tribal entities have been formally recognized and are federally acknowledged to have a government-to-government relationship with the United States. They are independent, autonomous political entities possessing sovereignty and are equivalent to national governments.

There are currently no federally-recognized tribes within the state of Illinois ( Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Register, August 11, 2009, pp 40218-40223).

The Forest Service does maintain a relationship, however, with seven tribes that historically resided in the area of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and were removed to western states by the U.S. Government in the 1800s. Midewin regularly seeks to consult and communicate with the following tribes:

Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN), Shawnee, OK: At the height of the Fur Trading Era that spanned an entire century, the Potawatomi controlled a tribal estate that encompassed Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and a small portion of Ohio or over 5 million acres. By 1800, tribal villages were displaced by white settlements and pushed farther and farther to the outskirts of the Potawatomi tribal estate. It was during the Removal Period of the 1830s that the Mission Band (today known as the Citizen Band) of Potawatomi were forced to leave their homelands in the Wabash River Valley of Indiana. (Excerpted from:

Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Mayetta , KS

Forest County Potawatomi (FCP), Crandon , WI: At the time of first contact with the Europeans, the Potawatomi were living in what is today lower Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In 1833, the Treaty of Chicago took the most land, over 5 million acres, and the Potawatomi no longer had land east of the Mississippi River. In 1830 President Jackson signed the Removal Act, which was to force all the Indians living east of the Mississippi River to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Many of the Potawatomi people were very unhappy at having to leave their homelands. When the United States soldiers came to round them up, some of them successfully escaped into the woods and settled in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada. Many of this group of people became what is today the Forest County Potawatomi. (Excerpted from:

Hannahville Indian Community, Wilson, MI: The people of Hannahville are descendents of those who refused to leave Michigan in 1834 during the great Indian Removal. The current location was found in 1884 under the direction of Methodist Missionary, Peter Marksman. Today, Hannahville is a growing and diverse community located in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With the introduction of gaming in the 1980’s, the tribe has grown tremendously from a fledging, struggling community subsisting on minimal federally funded dollars to a growing and prospering community that is becoming a key driving force for the entire Central Upper Peninsula. The Tribe is very proud of its accomplishments and looks forward to many years of continued partnerships with the local communities.

Kickapoo of Kansas Tribal Council, Horton, KS: Up until around 1832, the Kickapoos resided in the Illinois country, until the Removal Act forced them west. A sequence of treaties shifted the homelands of the Kickapoos and today they are divided into four separate bands, The Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, The Kickapoo Tribe in Oklahoma, The Texas Band of Kickapoo, and the Mexican-Kickapoos.

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, McLoud, OK

Shawnee Tribe , Miami, OK