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Original Native American Tribal Names

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A'aninin
   is the original tribal name of the   
Gros Ventre
A'aninin (white clay people). Also A'ani or A'ane. Gros Ventre is French for 'big belly'
Absaroke
   is the original tribal name of the   
Crow
Absaroke (bird people). Crow - English: from their tribal name.
Alabama
   is the original tribal name of the   
Alabama
Alabama (cleared thicket)
Alnombak
   is the original tribal name of the   
Abenaki
Alnombak (the people). Abenaki (dawn people or easterners)
Anishinaabe
   is the original tribal name of the   
Algonquin
Anishinaabe (original people). Today the Anishinaabe have two tribes, Algonquin and Ojibway/Ojibwe/Chippewa. Algonquin is probably a French corruption of either the Maliseet word elehgumoqik, "our allies," or the Mi'kmaq place name Algoomaking, "fish-spearing place."
Anishinaabe
   is the original tribal name of the   
Chippewa
Anishinaabe (original people). Today the Anishinaabe have two tribes Algonquin and Ojibway/Ojibwe/Chippewa. Ojibwe & Chippewa are the versions of the same word pronounced differently because of English versus French accents (placing an "O" in front of Chippewa results in the word "O'chippewa"). Ojibwe is used in Canada. While "Chippewa" is used in the U.S., it is not approved of by the Anishinabe people themselves. The word "Ojibwe," or "Chippewa," comes from the Algonquin word "otchipwa" (to pucker), referring to the distinctive puckered seam of Ojibwe moccasins.
Anishinaabe
   is the original tribal name of the   
Ottawa /Odawa
Anishinaabe means "original people". Ottawa /Odawa means 'traders'. Today the Anishinaabe have two tribes, Algonquin and Ojibway/Ojibwe/Chippewa. The Ottawa are generally considered to be an offshoot of the Ojibwe tribe
Aniyunwiya
   is the original tribal name of the   
Tsalagi (Cherokee)
Aniyunwiya (principal people). Cherokee is more properly spelled Tsalagi and is a Creek/Muskogee word for 'speakers of another language'.
Asakiwaki
   is the original tribal name of the   
Sauk
Asakiwaki (or Osakiwuk) means 'people of the outlet' and refers to their original homeland on Michigan's Saginaw Bay which gets its name from them. Sometimes translated as 'yellow earth people'. Sauk (Also Sak, Osawkee, Saki, Saque, and Sawkee) is a shortened form of the tribal name .
Attikamekw
   is the original tribal name of the   
Attikamekw
Attikamekw is a kind of whitefish.
Ayisiniwok
   is the original tribal name of the   
Cree
Ayisiniwok means "true men". Cree from the French word for the tribe, Kristeneaux.
Baxoje
   is the original tribal name of the   
Ioway / Iowa
Baxoje (also Pahoja) means "dusted faces" or "gray snow". Ioway or Iowa (also Aiaouez) from a word in their language meaning "sleepy" or "sleepy ones". The tribe is the reason the state of Iowa got its name.
Chahta
   is the original tribal name of the   
Choctaw
Chahta (A legendary tribal chief). Choctaw is a variation of the tribal name.
Chikasha
   is the original tribal name of the   
Chickasaw
Chikasha (A legendary tribal chief). Chickasaw - from tribal name.
Dakelh
   is the original tribal name of the   
Carrier
Dakelh (travel by water). Carrier is the English translation of the Sekani name for them, referring to the tribe's mourning ritual.
Dakota
   is the original tribal name of the   
Dakota Sioux
Dakota (the allies). The four bands are the Mdewakantonwan, Wahpeton, Sissetonwan and the Wahpekute. Sioux comes from an Ojibwe word meaning "little snakes."
Dakota
   is the original tribal name of the   
Santee Sioux
Dakota (the allies). The four bands are the Mdewakantonwan, Wahpeton, Sissetonwan and the Wahpekute. Sioux comes from an Ojibwe word meaning "little snakes."
Degexit'an
   is the original tribal name of the   
Ingalik
Degexit'an (people of this land). Ingalik - Inuktitut word for "Indian people."
Dena'ina
   is the original tribal name of the   
Tanaina
Dena'ina (the people). Tanaina - from tribal name.
Dene
   is the original tribal name of the   
Chipewyan
Dene (the people). Chipewyan - Cree word for "pointed shirt," after a traditional clothing style.
Dene Tha
   is the original tribal name of the   
Slavey
Dene Tha means 'true people'. Slavey is English, from the Cree name for them (Awokanak), which meant servile ones.
Diné
   is the original tribal name of the   
Navajo
Diné or Dine'é means 'the people'. Navajo is a Pueblo Indian word for 'planted fields'.
Doné
   is the original tribal name of the   
Dogrib
Doné, means "the People". Dogrib comes from the English translation of tribal name Thlingchadine which means"dog flank people" from a traditional legend.
Dunne-Za
   is the original tribal name of the   
Beaver
Dunne-Za or Danezaa means real people. Beaver is an English translation of a clan name, Tsatinne
Gaigwu
   is the original tribal name of the   
Kiowa
Gaigwu (or Kaigwu) means principal people. Kiowa - from tribal name.
Gayogohono
   is the original tribal name of the   
Cayuga
Gayogohono means "people of the swamp". Cayuga comes from their tribal name. They are a member of the Iroquois Confederation - Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and more recently Tuscarora.
Gwich'in
   is the original tribal name of the   
Kutchin
Gwich'in means 'the people'. Kutchin is a variation of the tribal name.
Hasinai
   is the original tribal name of the   
Caddo
Hasinai means "our own people". Caddo comes from the tribal name Kadohadacho.
Haudenosaunee
   is the original tribal name of the   
Iroquois Confederation
Previously Kanonsionni. Haudenosaunee or Six Nations refers to the six tribes that make up the Iroquois Confederation - Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and more recently Tuscarora. Iroquois comes from an Algonquian word meaning "real snakes."
Havasupai
   is the original tribal name of the   
Havasupai (Havasu ’Baaja)
Havasupai or Havasu ’Baaja means 'people of the blue-green water' Named for the Havasu Canyon area in the Grand Canyon where they lived.
Ho-Chunk
   is the original tribal name of the   
Ho-Chunk / Winnebago
Ho-Chunk means "People of the big voice". Winnebago is an Algonquian word for "people of the stagnant water."
Hualapai
   is the original tribal name of the   
Hualapai
Hualapai (also spelled Walapai) is derived from "hwal," the Yuman word for pine, "Hualapai" meaning "people of the tall pine".
Illiniwek
   is the original tribal name of the   
Illini / Illinois
The Illinois Indians were one of the largest tribes of the Central Prairies and Woodland region. Some of the best known tribes are: Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Peoria ("backpack people"), and Tamaroa. They were called Iliniwek, plural for the word "ilini", which signifies "man"or "the best people". The French called them Illinois.
Innu
   is the original tribal name of the   
Innu
Innu means "the people". Also known as the Montagnais: French: "mountain people"
Innu
   is the original tribal name of the   
Montagnais
Innu means "the people". Montagnais: French: "mountain people"
Innu
   is the original tribal name of the   
Naskapi
Innu means "the people". Naskapi is a band namewhich means 'they wear crude clothes' in the Montagnais language
Inuit
   is the original tribal name of the   
Inuit / Eskimo
Inuit means "the people". Eskimo is the Cree name for the Inuit meaning either from 'askamiciw' meaning "raw meat eaters" or from the word 'askimew' meaning "snowshoe lacers."
Inuna-Ina / Hinonoeino
   is the original tribal name of the   
Arapaho
Hinonoeino means 'our people'. Arapaho (also spelled Arapahoe or Arrapahoe) is probably from a Pawnee Indian word for 'traders'
Istichata
   is the original tribal name of the   
Creek
Also Muskogee. Creek from the English name for a river
Iyiniwok
   is the original tribal name of the   
Cree
Iyiniwok (Ininiwok) means "the people". Cree from the French word for the tribe, Kristeneaux.
Kadohadacho
   is the original tribal name of the   
Caddo
Kadohadacho means "true chiefs") Caddo comes from the tribal name.
Kalispel
   is the original tribal name of the   
Pend D'Oreilles
Kalispel means "camas people" and derives from their proficiency making bread from the camas root. Pend d'Oreilles is French for ear pendants made from shell that the people wore. The Kalispel are one of the three tribes of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation.
Kanienkehaka
   is the original tribal name of the   
Mohawk
Kanienkehaka means "people of the flint". Mohawk comes from an Algonquian word meaning "man-eater" possibly meaning those who eat meat. The use of People of the Flint is associated with their origins in the Mohawk Valley, and their original homeland in New York. There, the Indians used flint deposits to tip Mohawk arrows, and for toolmaking. As original members of the Iroquois League, or Haudenosaunee, the Mohawk were known as the "Keepers of the Eastern Door", who guarded the Iroquois Confederation against invasion from that direction.
Kanonsionni
   is the original tribal name of the   
Iroquois Confederation
Kanonsionni means "people of the longhouse" More recently Haudenosaunee has been used. Iroquois comes from an Algonquian word meaning "real snakes."
Kanza
   is the original tribal name of the   
Kansa
Kanza means "wind people". Kaw/Kansa comes from their tribal name.
Kanza
   is the original tribal name of the   
Kaw
Kanza means "wind people". Kaw/Kansa comes from their tribal name.
Karok
   is the original tribal name of the   
Karok / Karuk
Karok means "upriver".
Kawchottine
   is the original tribal name of the   
Hare
Kawchottine means 'big hare people'. Hare is English, from the tribal name. Arctic hares were an important source of food.
Kiwigapawa
   is the original tribal name of the   
Kickapoo
Kickapoo is derived from the Algonquian Kiwigapawa meaning 'wanderer' or 'he who moves about'. The Kickapoos split off from the Shawnee tribe.
Lakota
   is the original tribal name of the   
Lakota Sioux
Lakota (the allies). Sioux comes from an Ojibwe word meaning "little snakes."
Lakota
   is the original tribal name of the   
Teton Sioux
Lakota (the allies). Teton (prairie dwellers). Sioux comes from an Ojibwe word meaning "little snakes."
Lenape
   is the original tribal name of the   
Delaware
Lenape (Lenápe or Lenapi) means 'the people'. Also known as Lenni Lenape - 'true people'. Delaware is the English name for the Delaware River, named after a British nobleman.
Lenni Lenape
   is the original tribal name of the   
Delaware
Lenni Lenape means 'true people'. Also known as Lenape (Lenápe or Lenapi) - 'the people'. Delaware is the English name for the Delaware River, named after a British nobleman.
L'nu'k
   is the original tribal name of the   
Mi'kmaq
L'nu'k meaning 'the people'. Mi'kmaq (or Micmac, or Míkmaq) from a word meaning "my friends".
Maklak
   is the original tribal name of the   
Klamath
Maklak means 'the people. Klamath is of unknown origins
Mamaceqtaw
   is the original tribal name of the   
Menominee
Mamaceqtaw means 'the people'. Menominee is derived from manomin - an Algonkian word for wild rice-because it is a major food source for the tribe.
Meskwaki
   is the original tribal name of the   
Fox
Meskwaki means 'red earth people. Fox is possibly an English translation of a clan name
Mikasuki / Miccosukee
   is the original tribal name of the   
Seminole
Mikasuki means "boar clan". Seminole is a derivative of the Mvskoke' (a Creek language) word simano-li, an adaptation of the Spanish "cimarrón" which means "wild" (in their case, "wild men"), or "runaway" [men]. The Seminole tribe was originally an alliance between certain Creek, Miccosukee, Hitchiti, Oconee, and other Indian people of northern Florida and southern Georgia.
Minisink
   is the original tribal name of the   
Munsee
Minisink means 'from the rocky lands. Munsee - from tribal name.
Mohiingan
   is the original tribal name of the   
Mohegan
Mohiingan means 'wolf'. Mohegans are sometimes mistakenly called Mohican.
Muheconneok
   is the original tribal name of the   
Mohican
Mohican (or Mahican) comes from the the word Muheconneok, which means "from the waters that are never still." That is the Mohican name for the Hudson River. Originally the Mohicans lived along the banks of the Hudson River, in modern-day New York state.
Muskogee
   is the original tribal name of the   
Creek
Creek from the English name for a river
Myaamia
   is the original tribal name of the   
Miami
Miami comes from the Miami-Illinois word Myaamia, or in the plural, Myaamiaki, which means "allies." Another common usage was Mihtohseeniaki, "the people," and the Miami continue to employ this ethnonym today. Some sources say that the Miami called themselves the Twightwee (also spelled Twatwa), an onomatopeic reference to their sacred bird, the crane. Others aver that this was only a name applied by outsiders.
Nakoda
   is the original tribal name of the   
Assiniboine
Nakoda means allies. Assiniboine comes from the Ojibwe name for the tribe, Assinipwan, which means "stone water people." The Ojibwe probably called them this because they used heated stones to boil most of their food.
Nakoda
   is the original tribal name of the   
Stoney
Nakoda means allies. Stoney comes from the Ojibwe name for the tribe, Assinipwan, which means "stone water people." The Ojibwe probably called them this because they used heated stones to boil most of their food.
Nakota
   is the original tribal name of the   
Yankton Sioux
Nakota (the allies) or Nakoda. Nakota bands are the Ihanktonwan, or Yankton, and the Ihanktonwana, or Yanktonai.
Nanigansek
   is the original tribal name of the   
Narragansett
Nanigansek means 'Small Point' - a geographical location in their homeland. Narragansett comes from the tribal name.
Nantego
   is the original tribal name of the   
Nanticoke
Nantego means tidewater people. Nanticoke comes from the tribal name.
Ndee
   is the original tribal name of the   
Apache
Ndee or Dine' A (Di 'ns ) means the people'. Apache is a Zuni word Apachu meaning 'enemy'.
Nehiyawok
   is the original tribal name of the   
Cree
Nehiyawok means "Cree speakers". Cree from the French word for the tribe, Kristeneaux.
NIshnabe'k
   is the original tribal name of the   
Potawatomi
NIshnabe'k ( the people). Potawatomi or Bode'wadmi ('firekeepers' or 'People of the Place of the Fire').
Niukonska
   is the original tribal name of the   
Osage
Niukonska means 'Little Ones of the Middle Waters'. Osage comes from Wazhazhe. When Europeans first met the Wazhazhe, using rough French phonetics, they translated the name of one division of the tribe, the Wazhazhe, into the word "Osage.".
Numakiki
   is the original tribal name of the   
Mandan
Numakiki means 'people'. Mandan is possibly a corruption of the Lakota Sioux word Mawatani meaning 'riverbank people'.
Numinu
   is the original tribal name of the   
Comanche
Numinu means 'the people'. Comanche either comes from a Ute word 'comantcia' meaning 'they fight with us' or from the Spanish 'camino ancho' meaning broad trail.
Nuutsiu
   is the original tribal name of the   
Ute
Nuutsiu (Nunt’zi) 'the people. Ute is probably a corruption of their tribal name; it does not mean "mountain" as is popularly believed.
Nuxbaaga
   is the original tribal name of the   
Hidatsa
Nuxbaaga means "original people". Hidatsa was the name of a village and is said to mean 'willows'. In the 18 C there were 3 closely related village groups to which the term Hidatsa is applied: the Hidatsa Proper, the Awatixa and the Awaxawi. The three Hidatsa village groups spoke distinct dialects. The largest of the three were the Hidatsa Proper ( Hiratsa). They were erroneously called called GrossVentre by French trappers and traders. Hidatsa Indians are currently connected with the Mandan and the Arikara tribes. These tribes are referred to as the Three Affiliated Tribes.
Onandowaga
   is the original tribal name of the   
Seneca
Onandowaga means "people of the mountain". Seneca possibly is a corrupted version of an Onandowaga village name, Osininka). They are a member of the Iroquois Confederation - Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and more recently Tuscarora.
Onundaga'ono
   is the original tribal name of the   
Onondaga
Onundaga'ono means "people of the hills". Onondaga comes from their tribal name. They are a member of the Iroquois Confederation - Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and more recently Tuscarora.
Onyota'aka
   is the original tribal name of the   
Oneida
Onyota'aka means "people of the standing stone". Oneida comes from their tribal name. They are a member of the Iroquois Confederation - Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and more recently Tuscarora.
Pahoja
   is the original tribal name of the   
Ioway / Iowa
Pahoja (also Baxoje) means "dusted faces" or "gray snow". Ioway or Iowa (also Aiaouez) from a word in their language meaning "sleepy" or "sleepy ones". The tribe is the reason the state of Iowa got its name.
Peskotomuhkati
   is the original tribal name of the   
Passamaquoddy
Passamaquoddy comes from the tribal name Peskotomuhkati ("pollock-spearers")
Pokanoket
   is the original tribal name of the   
Wampanoag
Pokanoket was the name of their principal village. Wampanoag means "easterners". The Pokanokets, Patuxets, Chappaquiddick, Naticks, and Nantuckets are collectively called Wampanoag today because of their shared culture and history.
Powhatan
   is the original tribal name of the   
Powhatan
Powhatan means "falling water," the name of their principal village). Originally it was the name of the town the chief Wahunsunacock came from. This chief later united and/or conquered much of what is now Virginia, and called his lands the Powhatan Empire and himself Chief Powhatan. Many tribes of the old Powhatan confederacy have returned to using their own names (Pamunkey, Mattaponi, etc.)
Qwulhhwaipum
   is the original tribal name of the   
Klickitat
Qwulhhwaipum means 'prairie people'. Klickitat is from the Chinook word for 'beyond the mountains'
Sanish
   is the original tribal name of the   
Arikara
The people and their language are sometimes referred to as Arikari, Arikaree, or just Ree, but they call themselves Sanish or Sahnish. Sahnish means "original people"). Arikara means "horns," referring to a tribal hairstyle.
Schitsu'umsh
   is the original tribal name of the   
Coeur D'Alene
Often historically spelled Skitswish. In the tribe's own ancient language, it is called Schitsu'umsh, meaning "Those who are found here," or "The discovered people". Coeur d'Alene from the French: "awl heart.
Shawanwa
   is the original tribal name of the   
Shawnee
Shawanwa means "southerner". Shawnee from the tribal name.
Shuyelpee
   is the original tribal name of the   
Colville
Shuyelpee is the name of a village. Colville comes from the English name for a river in their territory.
Siksika
   is the original tribal name of the   
Blackfoot / Blackfeet
Siksika means "black foot", referring to their moccasin style. Blackfoot / Blackfeet is an English translation of the tribal name. "Blackfoot" is more commonly used in Canada, and "Blackfeet" is more commonly used in the U.S.
Skarureh
   is the original tribal name of the   
Tuscarora
Skarureh or Skarooren means "hemp gatherers". Tuscarora comes from their tribal name. Indian hemp, which is also called milkweed, is a plant that produces strong fibers, like cotton does. The Tuscarora used hemp to make rope, cloth for shirts, and ceremonial objects. They are a member of the Iroquois Confederation - Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and more recently Tuscarora.
Syilx
   is the original tribal name of the   
Okanagan
Syilx or Silx. Okanagan is an English pronunciation of the Salishan place name Ukwnaqin. It is spelt many different ways in English, including Okanogan and Okanagon.
Tłįchǫ (Tli Cho)
   is the original tribal name of the   
Dogrib
Dogrib comes from the English translation of tribal name Thlingchadine which means"dog flank people" from a traditional legend. Tłįchǫ (Tli Cho) is the name used today.
Tetawken
   is the original tribal name of the   
Cayuse
Tetawken means "We, the people". The name 'Cayuse' is thought to come from the French-Canadian word for stones or rocks, cailloux, indicating the kind of land that the tribe inhabited. During the 1840’s measles took over the tribe leaving them with only 400 left. In the 1850’s the people of the tribe signed a treaty ceding their land to the whites and agreeing to move to the Umatilla Reservation. The descendants of the tribe are now part of the Umatilla Confederated Tribes.
Thlingchadine
   is the original tribal name of the   
Dogrib
Thlingchadine means"dog flank people". Dogrib comes from the English translation of their tribal name.
Titcakhanotene
   is the original tribal name of the   
Tahltan
Titcakhanotene means ‘people of Titcakhano’ a place name in their territory. Tahltan is a tribal name probably from the Tlingit for a low flat at the mouth of the Tahltan River serving as a trading ground
Titska Watich
   is the original tribal name of the   
Tonkawa
Titska Watich means "civilized people". Tonkawa comes from the Waco name for the tribe, meaning "they keep together."
Tse'khene
   is the original tribal name of the   
Sekani
Tse'khene means "people of the rocks". Sekani comes from their tribal name.
Tsitsistas
   is the original tribal name of the   
Cheyenne
Tsitsistas means "the people". Cheyenne is probably from the Sioux word for the tribe, Šahiyenan, meaning "relatives of the Cree."
Ugakhpa
   is the original tribal name of the   
Quapaw
Ugakhpa means "downstream people". Quapaw comes from their tribal name.
Umon'hon
   is the original tribal name of the   
Omaha
Umon'hon means "against the current"or "upriver people". Omaha comes from their tribal name.
Wendat
   is the original tribal name of the   
Huron
Wendat means "islanders". Huron was the French name for the Wyandot tribe. It means "wild boar" in French
Wendat
   is the original tribal name of the   
Wyandot
Wendat means "islanders". Huron from a French word for "wild boar."
Wiyot
   is the original tribal name of the   
Wiyot
Wiyot (also Weott) was their word for Eel River, which was part of their territory.
Wolastoqiyik
   is the original tribal name of the   
Maliseet
Wolastoqiyik means "Beautiful River" it's the name of the river running through their homeland. Maliseet is a Mi'kmaq word meaning "talks imperfectly."
Yavapai
   is the original tribal name of the   
Yavapai
Yavapai is sometimes translated as talkative people, is generally translated as the sun people because they worshipped the sun, though many agree that it is a corruption of the Yuman word "Nyavkopai" - east people. Yavapai is an over-arching term for four distinct tribes. The Western Yavapai call themselves Tolkepaya, the Northeastern Yavapai call themselves Yavapé, the Southeastern Yavapai call themselves Kwevkepaya, and the fourth group call themselves Wipukepa


Facts contributed by:


beowulf5








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