The Meskwaki had lived since the 1600s in the Green Bay area of Wisconsin, but the tribe has been historically located in the Saint Lawrence River Valley, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.
Although the French used the name “Renards,” or Fox, the English referred to the tribe as Mesquaki. Early Americans used the name Fox, and the government grouped the tribe with the Sauk under the name Sac and Fox when the tribe signed their first treaty with the United States in 1804. At that time the Meskwaki were concentrated along the upper Mississippi River Valley.
The Meskwaki are of Algonquin origin from the EasternWoodland Culture area and are closely related to the Cree, Sac, Chippewa, Menominee, Shawnee, Kickapoo, and other tribes. Members of the Woodland groups speak similar languages, and their religious customs, arts, crafts, and general way of living show a common pattern. Click here to learn about the Northeast Culture Area.
The names used for the Meskwaki have varied over the centuries in literature and lore. Click here to learn about Tribal Synonymy.
Click here to read the many recorded observations of the Meskwaki over the years. Refer to the Anthology section using the menu buttons on the left for more comprehensive reading on the history of the tribe or cultural customs.
Refer to the Housing section using the menu buttons on the left or click here to read about tribal community pattern along with a description of summer villages and summer houses, winter camps and winter homes, and housing today.
Relations with United States Government
Meskwaki government in the 20th century
Image Source: "A Man and Woman of the Ottigaumies," from Jonathan Carver's Travels Through America, 1766-1768, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City.