Photograph courtesy of OTHRP Archives.

Warner Blackbird and girl. 


Compiled from various published and oral sources, including 
tribal, school, religious, county, state, and federal resources.

richard chilton

Parental Culture:
Includes Kansa (Kaw), Osage, Oto, Ponca and Quapaw.

Ancestral: Up to 14 million acres in what is now the eastern third of Nebraska,
southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota and the western two thirds of Iowa.
Original Acreage of Reservation: a remaining 330,000 ancestral acres, Federally designated by Treaty between United States Government and the various clans
of the sovereign Umonhon Nation, March 1854.
Hu'tunga Sale: Reservation reduced to 220,000 acres by 1865 Treaty with the U.S., imposed upon both Nations.  This sale formed a 110,000 acre Hu'tunga[Winnebago] Reservation on lands they did not wish to assume, preferring instead their ancestral lands:  Green Bay Wisconsin.

It being understood that the object of the government in purchasing the land herein described is for the purpose of locating the Winnebago tribe thereon, now, therefore, should their location there prove detrimental to the peace, quiet, and harmony of the whites as well as the two tribes of Indians, then the Omahas shall have the privilege of repurchasing the land herein ceded upon the same terms they now sell. 
-- 1865 Treaty, Article 5 

Land Held By Tribe: a maximum 31,000 acres held either in Trust by the U.S. Government in the name of the Tribe (approximately 28,000 acres), or through individual allotments (approximately 2,000 acres) or held privately by tribal members.
Reservation Land Held by Non-Umonhon: approximately 189,000 acres.

Population of Umonhon Tribe:
Pre-wa'xe [non Indigenous] Contact: as documented through both Western and oral tradition:

Strips of agricultural farms in valleys such as where Macy, Walthill and Rosalie are situated, stewarded by as few as one, and as many of several extended families, probably clan based, cultivating acreage to sustain and support in perpetuity upwards of 50,000 or more.  -- Oral Tradition

Population Decimated:   three smallpox epidemics; 1800-1 worst decline; 1802-4 down to less than 2,000; 1828.
Population when Reservation Formed:  approximately 4,200.
Current: 6,200 enrolled tribal members.
Off Reservation:   approximately 2,200 in Sioux City and surrounding communities (Iowa); the greater Omaha and Lincoln (Nebraska) metropolitan areas; Los Angeles and Oakland (California); Seattle (Washington); Oklahoma; Arizona and New Mexico; District of Columbia.
On Reservation:   4,000, predominantly in the communities and rural areas of Macy and Walthill, smaller areas in and around Rosalie and Pender.

Ancestral, Pre-Contact:   Communal, based on family relationship with clan, and the Hu'thuga [tribal circle].  Hunting te [bison] and other game, agricultural (wahaba [corn], waton [squash] and other foods), foraging;  trade in hand-made goods,  cultural relationships.
Present Day, Cash/Wage/Labor, Average  Income:  $6,500-$8,300.  One third less before casino.
Unemployment rate before casino: 80% including younger adults, 90% in mid teens, consistently highest negative statistics in virtually ALL categories (both 1990 Census and Nebraska figures), even after casino.
Unemployment rate after casino:   60% adult, 73% youth.
Direct Employment by Casino:  one third rise in community employment, this reduced by 20% long-term with increased saturation of gaming market.
Indirect Employment:   another one fifth rise, but rate has become more volatile with “saturation.”

Age & Health:

Most literature on the health problems of Native American people demonstrates that the genesis of the problems are found in the area of psychological dysfunction. . . .  Beginning in the late 1800s, the U.S. Government implemented policies whose effect was the systematic destruction of the Native American family system . . . .  Once the idea of family is eradicated from the thinking and lifeworld of an individual, cultural reproduction cannot occur . . . .many times the task in working with families involves education as to what the concept of family actually is.

-- Duran and Duran, Native American Postcolonial Psychology, 1995

Current Medium Age of Tribal Members:  19.4 years.
Life Expectancy: approximately 54 years.
Diabetes:  20% of all age groups; according to more recent data published in the literature; however, approaching one third clinically diagnosed “at risk," but speculated to be up to two thirds of the local population.

The Omaha people believe in the oneness of life, the interconnectedness of all of life and respect for every living thing.  Traditionally, the people went to one person, a medicine man for healing.  Many people continue this practice today.  The medicine man never treats only one aspect of the person's condition.  He treats the whole person and has a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of the mind, body and spirit. For this reason, it is difficult for many of our population to comprehend the dominant culture's practice of going to a particular person for one type of problem and another for something else.  The over-specialization that has resulted in fragmented knowledge and services to the people has not yet occurred here.  It should be avoided if we are to provide services in a way that is congruent with the values and ways of the people.  Within this program, services must be provided holistically in order that the client may feel trust and confidence in  the provider as well as for the provider to have more complete understanding of the individual. 
-- Pauline Tyndall, 1984

Compulsive Behaviors & Addictions:  All behaviors “3.84%” officially up from less than one percent 20 years ago – e.g. the Gambling Addiction rate in 1997.  Local statistics agree but professional speculation suggests four times this “norm.”
Alcohol:   Virtually 100% of families affected by chronic alcoholism within various generations, fairly evenly split between directly in some way and indirectly.
FAS: believed at 2%
FAE: at 3%.  Professional speculation for FAS alone, however, may be statistically higher.
Other Abuse: increasing rate of child, domestic, family abuse -- all of which were rare, even to the end of World War II:

Estimated 8-9% Catholic, 4% New Reform, 3-4% Mormon, less than 2% Methodist, less than 1% Jehovah’s Witness, B’hai, etc., 60+% Native American Church, 20% various Traditionals.

Boarding School: 20%
Walthill Public: 93% Native enrollment, 85+% Umonhon
Umonhon Nation Public at Macy: 100% Native enrollment, 95+% Umonhon
Winnebago Public: 2% Umonhan;
St. Augustine, Catholic Day School at Winnebago:  3-5% Umonhon ;
Other: tribal members are also enrolled at Lyons-Decatur NE, Bancroft-Rosalie NE, Omaha NE, Lincoln NE, Sioux City IA and Onawa IA.
College: Nebraska Indian Community College:  Over 100 students, two campus sites (Macy, Santee -- Macy being the largest).  Average student:  Female 31, single parent with two children.



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