Native American ancestors inhabited the land of Indiana from around 9,500 BC. European contact with Indiana's Miami, Wea, Mascouten, and Shawnee tribes began in 1679. The history of Native Americans in the state is examined in the new Indiana Historical Society Press book The Native Americans.
Written by Elizabeth Glenn and Stewart Rafert, the book is the second volume in the IHS Press's Peopling Indiana series based on the 1996 publication Peopling Indiana: The Ethnic Experience. Each volume in the series includes an updated essay on one of the state's larger ethnic groups illuminating the migratory, settlement, and community-building experiences of the essay's subject group.
Native Americans in Indiana were forced into western reservations by the 1830s. By 1850 only a portion of the Miami remained in Indiana. Many natives either assimilated into white culture or hid their identity. This scenario changed when Native Americans served in the military and at home during World War II. Afterward, Indians from many lineages flocked to Indiana. Along with Indiana's Miami and Potawatomi, they are creating a diverse Indian culture, expressed through pan-Indian as well as tribal activities, that enriches the lives of all Hoosiers.
Glenn is professor emerita of the Ball State University Anthropology Department. An adjunt professor of history at the University of Delaware, Rafert is the author of The Miami Indians of Indiana, published by the IHS Press in 1996.
The Native Americans costs $13.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.