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This was the homeland of the Omaha Tribe long before white settlers came to the Great Plains. By 1750, the Omaha occupied a large region in northeastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa. The name "Omaha" means "those going against the wind or current" and may refer to a traditional migration up the Missouri River by the ancestors of the present tribe. Lewis and Clark, in 1804, recorded that the Omaha lived here and noted the grave of Chief Blackbird. By a treaty in 1854, the Omaha gave up much of their territory, except for the area of the present reservation.

The Omaha were a peaceful people who lived by agriculture and hunting. During the trying years in the nineteenth century, they were guided by such forward-looking and influential leaders as Big Elk and Joseph La Flesche (Iron Eye). The tribe never took up arms against the flood of white settlers. A number of Omaha served in Nebraska military units as early as the Civil War.

Today, the Omaha people continue to live on their traditional homelands where their ancestors farmed, hunted, and are buried.

Historical Land Mark Council
Community Building, Macy
Thurston County
Marker 71


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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