Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Piqua Shawnee Tribe - Today

The Piqua Shawnee Tribe - Alabama Today

State of Alabama Indian Affairs Commission

State of Alabama Indian Affairs Commission Tribal Map
Now, in the 21st century, there are many descendants who still call Alabama home. Many of their family stories are varied. Some avoided walking the Trail of Tears. Some families escaped into the Cumberland mountains, others hid in swamps or less traveled places. A careful study of southeastern history will reveal that not all settlers agreed with Andrew Jackson’s removal policy. While many people did not escape the removal, some did. After the turmoil subsided some families returned. Many families chose to live in outlying rural areas where there was little government scrutiny and their neighbors weren’t too curious. While a lot was lost, family histories and ways were passed down.

It is out of that background that current Piquas live and work to preserve their unique heritage. The tribe consists of several family groups that are interrelated and live in several states. We also have relatives who reside in Canada. Currently the majority of Piquas live in Alabama, with members also in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Maryland, and South Carolina. Because we are so widely dispersed, we have at least four tribal gatherings per year in alternating geographic locations, thereby preventing any of our people from having to travel much farther than the others.

While we have a Principal chief, and second chief, our tribal government is maintained by a Tribal Council. The Council is composed of clan mothers and clan chiefs, with an advisory body known as the Council of Elders. Tribal Council is conducted in accordance with Clan protocol. All issues are debated and taken before the clans for consideration and deliberation. It is the function of the Council to debate and seek consensus on all tribal matters so that the people speak with one voice. Modern positions such as treasurer and secretary are determined by election for a set period of time. These positions do not have a vote on Council.

In 1991 the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky recognized the Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee as an Indian tribe. On July 10, 2001 the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission under the authority of the Davis-Strong Act recognized the Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee Tribe as an Indian tribe in the state of Alabama, thus making the Piqua Sept the first petitioning group to be recognized in 17 years.

Enrollment will be considered by the Tribal Council for applicants who can document their Shawnee ancestry. Those applicants who are of American Indian descent other than Shawnee must be descended from a tribe that was known to live with the Shawnee prior to the 1832 removal act. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit so that we may get to know you before any decisions are made regarding enrollment.

Visit the Official website of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe at

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

History Channel - Tecumseh

Native American History - Tecumseh

History Channel (2009)

Shawnee Indian political leader and war chief Tecumseh (1768-1813) came of age amid the border warfare that ravaged the Ohio Valley in the late 18th century. He took part in a series of raids of Kentucky and Tennessee frontier settlements in the 1780s, and emerged as a prominent chief by 1800. Tecumseh transformed his brother’s religious following into a political movement, leading to the foundation of the Prophetstown settlement in 1808. After Prophetstown was destroyed during the Battle of Tippecanoe, the Shawnee chief fought with pro-British forces in the War of 1812 until his death in the Battle of the Thames.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Battle of Piqua

The Battle of Piqua - Touring Ohio

We have been taught about the Revolutionary War battles of Bunker Hill and Yorktown but the Battle of Piqua (also called the Battle of Peckuwe) may have slipped our educators notice. It was the largest military engagement of the Revolutionary War west of the Allegheny Mountains and would greatly influence a 12 year old boy named Tecumseh.

Today the location of the Shawnee Village Piqua and battlefield is being preserved and is located just outside the George Rogers Clark Park. A monument of Colonel Clark overlooks the battle site honoring both sides of this important conflict. The Davidson Interpretive Center is located at the battle site and offers displays and exhibits concerning both the battle and Shawnee village life. The center is open Monday - Friday.  Piqua, Ohio, about a 45 minute drive up Interstate 75. 

Visit the Official Website of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Dying Tecumseh and the Birth of a Legend

The Dying Tecumseh and the Birth of a Legend

 Smithsonian Magazine |

A sculpture in the Smithsonian collection reveals much about how the Indians of the West were viewed in the early ages of the United States

Tecumseh (Smithsonian American Art Museum) Sculptor:
Frederick Pettrich (1856)
The subject is a reclining, heroically proportioned man whose dignified and noble demeanor is unaffected by a bullet hole in the right temple.
The gleaming white sculpture is entitled The Dying Tecumseh, but any resemblance to the mortal Shawnee leader of that name is entirely coincidental. He died in battle and was disfigured by enemy soldiers 25 years before Pettrich began this work. While alive he posed for no known portrait. Nevertheless it is singularly appropriate that this is an imaginary figure, for no one else of Tecumseh's race and few of any other have had such a powerful and abiding impact on the collective American imagination.

Visit the Official Website of the Piqua Shawnee at

Monday, August 7, 2017

Shawnee History and Population - Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopædia Britannica Shawnee-people

In the 17th century the Shawnee were driven from their home by the Iroquois, scattering into widely separated areas. Some settled in what is now Illinois and others in the Cumberland Valley, while one group moved to the southeast. After 1725 the tribe reunited in Ohio, where they formed the principal barrier to the advance of colonial settlers. Following their defeat by Gen. Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) and the failure of Tecumseh’s alliance to prevent further colonial encroachment in the Ohio valley, the Shawnee broke into three independent branches, the Absentee, Eastern, and Cherokee Shawnee, that eventually settled in different parts of Oklahoma.
Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 12,000 individuals of Shawnee descent.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-USZC4-3616 )
 Visit the Official Website of the Piqua Shawnee -

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian

Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian Ongoing Exhibit at the Smithsonian in New York City

Worth the visit, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian has a special section dedicated to the history of the Woodlands—the United States and southern Canada
Among the many artifacts within this exhibit is the Pipe-Tomahawk (pictured) given to Chief Tecumseh by Col. Henry Procter.

Pipe tomahawk presented to Chief Tecumseh (Shawnee,1768–1813)ca.1812 Ohio    Wood, iron, lead 66 x 22.5 cm Gift of Sarah Russell Imhof and Joseph A. Imhof 17/6249

Portrait of Chief Tecumseh (Shawnee, 1768–1813) by Benson Lossing, 1848. Based on a pencil sketch from life ca. 1808 by French trader Pierre Le Dru. N20811

Visit the rest of the collection in person at:
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian  |  George Gustav Heye Center  |  New York, NY

Visit the Official Website of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe at

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Notable Shawnee

Notable Shawnee - Wikipedia

  • Peter Chartier (1690–1759), also known as Wacanackshina, French-Canadian-Shawnee who opposed the sale of alcohol in Shawnee communities and fought on the side of the French in the French and Indian War.
  • Cornstalk (1720–1777), led the Shawnee in Dunmore's War of 1774.
  • Nonhelema (1720–1786), sister of Cornstalk, helped compile the dictionary for the Shawnee language.
  • Blue Jacket (1743–1810), also known as Weyapiersenwah, a leader in the Northwest Indian War and important predecessor to Tecumseh.
  • George Drouillard (1773–1810), scout on Lewis and Clark expedition
  • Black Hoof (1740–1831), also known as Catecahassa, respected Shawnee chief who believed his people needed to adapt to European-American culture to survive.
  • Chiksika (1760–1792), Kispoko war chief and older brother of Tecumseh
  • Tecumseh (1768–1813), Shawnee leader; with his brother Tenskwatawa attempted to unite tribes west of the Appalachians against the expansion of European-American settlement.
  • Tenskwatawa (1775–1836), Shawnee prophet and younger brother of Tecumseh


Visit the Official Web Site Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Piqua Shawnee Early History - Alabama

Piqua Shawnee Tribe - Alabama

Piqua Shawnee Tribe – Early historical records show that the Shawnee were inhabitants of Lawrence county of North Alabama. They were forced from the Tennessee Valley by the combined efforts of the Chickasaw and Cherokee.

The state of Alabama has long been the home of many Shawnee people. In fact, some historians state that perhaps the Shawnee people have inhabited Alabama for a longer period of time than any other geographic region. Some archaeologists set the date of 1685 as the first evidence of Shawnee settlement in Alabama. 

Visit the Official Site of  the Piqua Shawnee at

Friday, July 28, 2017

Shawnee - The Northwest Woodlands

Shawnee (Native Americans of the Northeast Woodlands)

Government The five Shawnee divisions were Chillikothe, Kispokotha, Piqua, Hathawekela, and Spitotha. They were linked through specific responsibilities, such as politics, ceremonialism, and war, and were associated both with specific territories and towns. Division membership was inherited patrilineally. This arrangement broke down with time.

Another type of tribal division was geographical in nature. These groups were fluid in number, size, and composition as the tribe shifted its territory. This system was eventually responsible for the three formal Shawnee divisions of the late nineteenth century.

Location The Shawnee migrated often, but their territory in the late seventeenth century may have ranged from the Illinois River east to the Delaware, Susquehannah, and Savannah Rivers. Some scholars place them on the Cumberland River at or before that time. Shawnee villages have been located within an enormous area, ranging from the present states of New York and Illinois south to South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Their aboriginal home may have been around the south shore of Lake Erie, and they lived in southern Ohio during the second half of the eighteenth century. Today, most Shawnees live in Oklahoma. There is also a significant community in and around Ohio.

Population There may have been as many as 50,000 or more Shawnee in the sixteenth century. Their population dropped to about 3,000 in 1650. In the mid-1990s, there were about 600 in Ohio and almost 12,000 in Oklahoma.

To read the full publication follow the link: 

Shawnee (Native Americans of the Northeast Woodlands)

Visit the Official Piqua Shawnee Website: Piqua Shawnee

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dr. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley, PhD - Discovery, History and Artifacts Piqua Shawnee

From Cincinnati Magazine: July 2014, By Paula Christian
Land of the Lost and Found

"Land of the Lost and Found"

Dr. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley, PhD completed a book about Dr. Charles Metz, a 19th-century Madisonville physician and amateur archaeologist who discovered a number of important sites around Cincinnati that revealed the societal sophistication of the Native Americans who inhabited the Ohio River Valley before his own ancestors.

Madisonville Site—the largest home of the Ft. Ancient Indians, ancestors of the Shawnee, Delaware, and Miami tribes, who inhabited the Ohio Valley from 1000 to roughly 1670 AD.  That is one of the most famous archaeological sites in all of eastern North America

This is where Charles Metz, later joined by staff from Harvard University’s Peabody Museum, uncovered more than 1,200 native graves in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Read more intriguing history and life of Dr. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley, PHD in the full article  Land of the Lost and Found from July 2014 Cincinnati Magazine By Paula Christian

Read More:

"Dr. Charles Louis Metz and the American Indian Archaeology of the Little Miami River Valley" by Kenneth Barnett Tankersley (Author), Robert Brand Newman (Author). January 4, 2016 Available on Amazon

About the Authors:
Kenneth Barnett Tankersley is an enrolled member of the Piqua Shawnee. He has conducted archaeological investigations across the Western Hemisphere and Eastern Siberia. This research resulted in more than 120 professional publications and has been featured on many televised channels as well as other media. He has served as a foreign delegate for the National Academy of Science, a delegate of the International Geology Congress, a Carnegie Mellon Scholar and Emmons Lecturer, guest editor of Scientific American magazine, and a Gubernatorial appointed member of the Native American Heritage Commission. Robert Brand Newman is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Emory Law School. He was a Reginald Heber Smith fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. He has worked for the Legal Aid Society in Atlanta as well as Cincinnati. Bob is a member of the Georgia, Ohio, and Kentucky bars. He has been admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Sixth Circuits, the Supreme Court of Ohio, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been in private practice since 1982.

 Also Visit Piqua Shawnee Website

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Piqua Shawnee Official Website

For information and history of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe visit the Official Website of the Piqua Shawnee Tribal Nation at

Officially Recognized by the State Of Alabama

The Alabama Indian Affairs Commission under the authority granted by the Davis-Strong Act as passed by the State Legislature of Alabama in 1984, officially recognized and acknowledged the Piqua Shawnee Tribe as an American Indian Tribe of the State of Alabama. Visit the official site