|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Oklahoma)|
|English, formerly Tonkawa language|
|Christianity, Native American Church, traditional tribal religions|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Wichita, Waco, Tawakoni, Kichai, Guichita|
The Tonkawa are a Native American tribe indigenous to present-day Oklahoma.Their Tonkawa language, now-extinct, is a linguistic isolate.
Today, Tonkawa people are enrolled in the federally recognized Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.
The Tonkawa's autonym is Tickanwa•tic (meaning "real people"). The name Tonkawa is derived from the Waco tribal word, Tonkaweya, meaning "they all stay together".
The Tonkawa tribe operates a number of businesses which have an annual economic impact of over $10,860,657 (as of 2011).Along with several smoke shops, the tribe runs 3 different casinos: Tonkawa Indian Casino and Tonkawa Gasino located in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, and the Native Lights Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma.
The annual Tonkawa Powwow is held on the last weekend in June to commemorate the end of the tribe's own Trail of Tears when the tribe was forcefully removed and relocated from its traditional lands to present-day Oklahoma.
Scholars once thought the Tonkawa originated in Central Texas. Recent research, however, has shown that the tribe inhabited northwestern Oklahoma in 1601.By 1700, Apache and Wichita enemies had pushed the Tonkawa south to the Red River which forms the border between current-day Oklahoma and Texas. In the 16th century, the Tonkawa tribe probably had around 1,900 members. Their numbers diminishes to around 1,600 by the late 17th century due to fatalities from new infectious diseases and conflict with other tribes, most notably the Apache.
In the 1740s, some Tonkawa were involved with the Yojuanes and others as settlers in the San Gabriel Missions of Texas along the San Gabriel River.
In 1758, the Tonkawa along with allied Bidais, Caddos, Wichitas, Comanches, and Yojuanes went to attack the Lipan Apache in the vicinity of Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá, which they destroyed.
The tribe continued their southern migration into Texas and northern Mexico, where they allied with the Lipan Apache.
In 1824, the Tonkawa entered into a treaty with Stephen F. Austin to protect Anglo-American immigrants against the Comanche. At the time, Austin was an agent recruiting immigrants to settle in the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas. In 1840 at the Battle of Plum Creek and again in 1858 at the Battle of Little Robe Creek, the Tonkawa fought alongside the Texas Rangers against the Comanche.
The Tonkawas often visited the capital city of Austin during the days of the Republic of Texas and during early statehood.
In 1859, the United States escorted the Tonkawa and a number of other Texas Indian tribes to a new home at the Wichita Agency in Indian Territory, and placed them under the protection of nearby Fort Cobb. When the American Civil War started, the troops at the fort received orders to march to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, leaving the Indians at the Wichita Agency unprotected.
In response to years of animosity (in part regarding rumors that the Tonkawas engaged in cannibalism 100 miles (160 km) to the Ponca Agency, and arrived at nearby Fort Oakland on June 30, 1885.), a number of pro-Union tribes, including the Delawares, Wichitas, and Penateka Comanches, attacked the Tonkawas as they tried to escape. The fight, known as the Tonkawa Massacre killed nearly half of the remaining Tonkawas, leaving them with little more than 100 people. The tribe returned to Fort Griffin, Texas where they remained for the rest of the Civil War. In October, 1884, the United States removed them, once again, to the new Oakland Agency in northern Indian Territory, where they remain to this day. This journey involved going to Cisco, Texas, where they boarded a railroad train that took them to Stroud in Indian Territory, where they spent the winter at the Sac and Fox Agency. The Tonkawas travelled
On October 21, 1891, the tribe signed an agreement with the Cherokee Commission to accept individual allotments of land.
By 1921, only 34 tribal members remained. Their numbers have since recovered to close to 700 in the early 21st century. The Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma incorporated under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act in 1938.
The Tonkawa were made up of various groups. These groups are generally counted as Tonkawa:
The Indian Territory and the Indian Territories are terms that generally describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land as a sovereign independent state. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the US federal government's 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the American Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the US government was one of assimilation.
Kiowa people are a Native American tribe and an indigenous people of the Great Plains of the United States. They migrated southward from western Montana into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in the 17th and 18th centuries, and finally into the Southern Plains by the early 19th century. In 1867, the Kiowa were moved to a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma.
Lipan Apache are Southern Athabaskan (Apachean) Native Americans whose traditional territory includes present-day US states of Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado, and the northern Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas, prior to the 17th century.
Mescalero or Mescalero Apache is an Apache tribe of Southern Athabaskan Native Americans. The tribe is federally recognized as the Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Apache Reservation, located in south-central New Mexico.
The Wichita people or Kitikiti'sh are a confederation of Southern Plains Native American tribes. Historically they spoke the Wichita language and Kichai language, both Caddoan languages. They are indigenous to Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.
Jicarilla Apache, one of several loosely organized autonomous bands of the Eastern Apache, refers to the members of the Jicarilla Apache Nation currently living in New Mexico and speaking a Southern Athabaskan language. The term jicarilla comes from Mexican Spanish meaning "little basket", referring to the small sealed baskets they used as drinking vessels. To neighboring Apache bands, such as the Mescalero and Lipan, they were known as Kinya-Inde . The Jicarilla called themselves also Haisndayin translated as "people who came from below", because they believed themselves to be the sole descendants of the first people to emerge from the underworld, the abode of Ancestral Man and Ancestral Woman, who produced the first people.
The Plains Apache are a small Southern Athabaskan group who live on the Southern Plains of North America, in close association with the linguistically unrelated Kiowa Tribe. Today, they are centered in Southwestern Oklahoma and Northern Texas and are federally recognized as the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.
Forming a part of the Eastern Shoshone linguistic group in southeastern Wyoming who moved on to the buffalo Plains around AD 1500, proto-Comanche groups split off and moved south some time before AD 1700. The Shoshone migration to the Great Plains was apparently triggered by the Little Ice Age, which allowed bison herds to grow in population. It remains unclear why the proto-Comanches broke away from the main Plains Shoshones and migrated south. The desire for Spanish horses released by the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 may have inspired the move as much as pressures from other groups drawn to the Plains by the changing environment.
The Texas–Indian wars were a series of 19th-century conflicts between settlers in Texas and the Southern Plains Natives. These conflicts began when the first wave of European-American settlers moved into Spanish Texas. They continued through Texas's time as part of Mexico, when more Europeans and Anglo-Americans arrived, to the subsequent declaration of independence by the Republic of Texas. The conflicts did not end until thirty years after Texas joined the United States.
Robert Simpson Neighbors was an Indian agent and Texas state legislator. Known as a fair and determined protector of Indian interests as guaranteed by treaty, he was murdered for his beliefs by a Texan who disagreed with giving any rights to the Comanches.
The Fort Sill Apache Tribe is the federally recognized Native American tribe of Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache in Oklahoma.
Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá was one of the Spanish missions in Texas. It was established in April 1757, along with the Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas, later renamed Presidio of San Sabá, in what is now Menard County. Located along the San Saba River, the mission was intended to convert members of the Lipan Apache tribe. Although no Apache ever resided at the mission, its existence convinced the Comanche that the Spanish had allied with the Comanche's mortal enemy. In 1758 the mission was destroyed by 2,000 warriors from the Comanche, Tonkawa, Yojuane, Bidai and Hasinai tribes. It was the only mission in Texas to be completely destroyed by Native Americans. The Indians did not attack the nearby presidio.
Fort Cobb was a United States Army post established in what is now Caddo County, Oklahoma in 1859 to protect relocated Native Americans from raids by the Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne. The fort was abandoned by Maj. William H. Emory at the beginning of the Civil War and remained abandoned until it was reoccupied in 1868. After establishing Fort Sill the Army abandoned Fort Cobb. Today there is little left of the former military post.
Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas, now better known as Presidio of San Sabá, was founded in April 1757 near present-day Menard, Texas, United States to protect the Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá, established at the same time. The presidio and mission were built to secure Spain's claim to the territory. They were part of the treaty recently reached with the Lipan Apaches of the area for mutual aid against enemies. The early functioning of the mission and presidio were undermined by Hasinai, also allied with the Spanish, attacking the Apaches. The mission was located three miles downstream from the presidio by request of the monks at the mission to ensure that the Spanish soldiers would not be a corrupting influence on the Lipan Apaches the monks were trying to convert to Christianity. The original presidio and mission were built out of logs.
The Tonkawa massacre occurred after an attack at the Confederate held Wichita Agency, located at Fort Cobb near Anadarko in Oklahoma, when a force of pro-Union tribes attacked the agency, home to 300 members of the Tonkawa, a tribe sympathetic to the Confederacy. During the attack on the Confederate held agency, the Confederate Indian agent Matthew Leeper and several other whites were killed. In response to this attack the Tonkawa fled southward toward Confederate held Fort Arbuckle, before they could reach the safety of the fort they were caught on October 24. In the resulting massacre, the estimates of Tonkawa dead are 137 men, women and children among them Chief Ha-shu-ka-na, it was claimed that the Tonkawa were roasted alive and eaten by the Comanche. There are varying accounts of the tribes involved in the massacre with the Osage, Shawnee, Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, Wichita and Seminole being named in some accounts.
The Taovaya tribe of the Wichita people were Native Americans originally from Kansas, who moved south into Oklahoma and Texas in the 18th century. They spoke the Taovaya dialect of the Wichita language, a Caddoan language. Taovaya people today are enrolled in the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, a federally recognized tribe headquartered in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area is a statistical entity identified and delineated by federally recognized American Indian tribes in Oklahoma as part of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Census and ongoing American Community Survey. Many of these areas are also designated Tribal Jurisdictional Areas, areas within which tribes will provide government services and assert other forms of government authority. They differ from standard reservations, such as the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, in that allotment was broken up and as a consequence their residents are a mix of native and non-native people, with only tribal members subject to the tribal government. At least five of these areas, those of the so-called five civilized tribes of Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole, which cover 43% of the area of the state, are formally recognized as reservations by federal treaty, and thus not subject to state law or jurisdiction for tribal members.
The Cherokee Commission, was a three-person bi-partisan body created by President Benjamin Harrison to operate under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, as empowered by Section 14 of the Indian Appropriations Act of March 2, 1889. Section 15 of the same Act empowered the President to open land for settlement. The Commission's purpose was to legally acquire land occupied by the Cherokee Nation and other tribes in the Oklahoma Territory for non-indigenous homestead acreage.
The Yojuane were a people who lived in Texas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. They were closely associated with the Jumano and may have also been related to the Tonkawa. They have no connection to the Yowani in Texas, a Choctaw band.
The Battle of the Two Villages was a Spanish attack on Taovaya villages in Texas and Oklahoma by a Spanish army in 1759. The Spanish were defeated by the Taovaya and other Wichita tribes with assistance from the Comanche.
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