July 13, 2012

Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska


The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is located along the Missouri River on an approximately 2,100-acre reservation straddling the borders of northeast Kansas (Brown County) and southeast Nebraska (Richardson County). 

Official Tribal Name: Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska

Address:  3345 B. Thrasher Rd., White Cloud,KS 66094
Phone:   (785) 595-3258
Fax:   (785) 595-6610

Official Website: 

Recognition Status:Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Baxoje/PahojaBáxoje is commonly reported to mean “dusty noses,” based on the misunderstanding of the first syllable as , or “nose.” However, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma says Bah-Kho-Je means “grey snow,” due to their winter lodges being covered with snow stained grey by the smoke of their fires.

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Ioway – From a word in their language meaning “sleepy,” unclear how this came to be a tribal name.

Alternate names / Alternate Spellings / Misspellings: Ioway, Northern Iowa

Name in other languages:

Region: Great Plains, formerly from the Northeast Region

State(s) Today: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma

Traditional Territory:

The Iowa, Oto, and Missouri homelands were in Iowa, southern Minnesota, and northern Missouri. Originally the Iowa (or Ioway – the two terms are interchangeable) and Otoe (or Oto) were part of the same moundbuilder Indian nation of the upper Mississippi, along with the Missouri (Missouria) and Winnebago (Hochunk; Hocak).

The original nation split up by the 1600s into their historical identities as Ioway, Otoe, Missouri, etc. By the mid-1700s, the Otoe had moved to Nebraska. After disasterous wars, the remaining Missouri joined the Otoe in Nebraska by the early 1800s.

The Iowa remained in Iowa and northern Missouri until 1836, when they were removed to a new reservation in Kansas. Some Iowa eventually moved to Oklahoma. All of the Otoe moved to Oklahoma.

Confederacy: Mississippi Moundbuilders, Oneota Culture


Treaty of 1805
Treaty of 1815
Treaty of 1824
Treaty of 1825
Treaty of 1830
Treaty of 1836
Treaty of 1837
Treaty of 1838
Treaty of 1854
Treaty of 1861

Reservation: Iowa (KS-NE) Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land

Land Area:  According to 1995 figures, the Tribe owns 947.63 acres in Kansas, and 181.01 acres are in tribal member allotments. In Nebraska the Tribe owns 280 acres and 210.06 acres are in tribal member allotments. The BIA indicated there were 1,618.7 acres of Iowa tribal lands in trust status in 1995.

Tribal Headquarters:  
Time Zone:  Central

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Charter:  The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is organized and chartered under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Its first constitution and bylaws were adopted on November 6, 1978.
Name of Governing Body:  Executive Committee
Number of Council members:   5, including executive officers
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer

Elections: Elections are held every three years. 

Language Classification:

 Siouan -> Western Siouan -> Mississippi Valley -> Chiwere–Winnebago -> Chiwere

Language Dialects:

Chiwere  (also called Iowa-Otoe-Missouria or Báxoje-Jíwere-Ñút’achi) was the language of the Ioway, Otoe, and Missouria. It is a is a Siouan language originally spoken by the Missouria, Otoe, and Iowa peoples, who originated in the Great Lakes region but later moved throughout the Midwest and Plains. The language is closely related to Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago.

Christian missionaries first documented Chiwere in the 1830s, but since then virtually nothing has been published about the language. Chiwere suffered a steady decline after extended European-American contact in the 1850s, and by 1940 the language had almost totally ceased to be spoken.

Currently, neither the Iowa of Kansas-Nebraska or the Iowa of Oklahoma have language programs.

Number of fluent Speakers:

The last two fluent speakers died in the winter of 1996, and only a handful of semi-fluent speakers remain, all of whom are elderly, making Chiwere critically endangered. As of 2006, an estimated four members of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians still speak the language semi-fluently, while 30 members of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma are also semi-fluent. There are no speakers left in the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. 



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

The Missouri River borders the reservation providing good fishing opportunities, and limited hunting for turkey, whitetail deer, rabbits, quail, and pheasants. Check with the tribe for permission and regulations. In the nearby town of Highland, Kansas is the Native American Heritage Museum which has some information and exhibits on the tribe. Housed in the old Iowa, Sac and Fox Mission building, the Museum is operated by the Kansas State Historical Society. Annual events at the reservation include the Chief White Cloud Rodeo, held in June, and the Baxoje Fall Encampment (powwow), held in September. 

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:





Economy Today:

The tribe owns a farm, gas station, a utility company, and Casino White Cloud. The tribe’s economy is primarily based on agriculture. The tribal farm raises cattle, and operates the Flaky Mills (grain-processing) and a grain elevator. The tribe has been engaged with gaming operations, first with Iowa Tribal Bingo, and then in 1998 with the opening of the tribal casino. The tribe operates various social services as well as a gas station and a fire station.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

The tribe provides $4,000 burial assistance for tribal members.

Wedding Customs

Education and Media:

Tribal College:  Nebraska Indian Community College located on the Omaha Reservation at Macy, on the Santee Sioux Reservation at Santee, and in South Sioux City, was a group project of all the Indian tribes of Nebraska. Read more: Nebraska Indian Community College – Tribal Colleges – AAA Native Arts

Famous Iowa Chiefs and Leaders:

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

In the News:

Further Reading:

US Tribes H to J
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