Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Mailing Address

RR 1, Box 721
Perkins, OK

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is also known as Iowa, or Ioway. Much of the historical records of the tribe happened in the State of Iowa. These people like to call themselves as the Bah-Kho-Je which literally means grey snow. This name is said to have been from the color of the snow during the winter months. It was said that the snow during the winter months in the area of settlement of this tribe was somewhat grayish. The settlements of the tribal members likewise looked gray as they were covered with the snow. On the other hand, another theory of the name's origin was that the name Iowa is actually of French decent in connection with "marrow". The language of the tribe is known as the Chiwere dialect coming from the Sioux language. The tribe is also known to have a Woodland culture which was because of their former residence. However, after migrating to the south, the tribe began adopting other lifestyles that better suited their new place of habitat. The tribe is said to be indigenous to the Great Lakes area as was part of the Winnebago Nation. However, when a portion decided to move southward, the separation of the tribe began. The remaining tribal members soon became known as the Otoe and the Missouria. 
Because of the several relocations of the tribe, they have learned many different cultures. They have also engaged in treaties with neighboring tribes. The tribe has been to the opening of the Rock River in the present day Illinois, in the Root River in the present day Iowa as well as in the Red Pipestone Quarry located in the south western portion of Minnesota. The tribe also settled in the Spirit Lake or Lake Okiboji area. This is now more popular as the present day Iowa.
The tribe has retained their culture and heritage for several years. They have also taken care of a formal village which was then near to the Council Bluffs, Iowa. Yet this village was abandoned due to the aggression coming from the Sioux as well as the burning desire of the tribe to be located nearer the area of the French traders. Soon enough, the tribe has lived close to the Des Moines River along the Chariton or Grand River Basin. 
Because of the added frustrations brought about by the relocation and the provisions, many Iowans left the reservation in the year 1878 and instead, decided to live off the Indian Territory. The Iowa reservation was re-established in the year 1883. The tribe is currently engaged in enterprises. They are the owners and operators of the Iowa Tribe Mini-Mart, the Iowa Tribe Smokeshop, and a casino. Together, these enterprises bring about revenues that add to the economic development of the tribe.

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