Celebrating the First Missourians

Native Americans

During Native American Heritage Month, we pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans, the first Americans. Missouri’s original inhabitants were peoples from several tribes, including Chickasaw, Illini, Ioway, Missouri (our state’s namesake), Osage, Otoe, and Quapaw. Missouri’s Native American roots are centuries old and remain a significant part of our state’s unique identity. Discover the story of early Native Americans in our area, even before Missouri became a state in 1821, through objects, including stone tools, arrowheads, beadwork, and clothing on display in the Missouri State Museum on the first floor of the State Capitol. Admission is free.  For more information, call 573-751-2854 or email moparks@dnr.mo.gov.

Today, more than 72,000 Missourians identify their race, either entirely or in part, as American Indian/Alaska Native. One way to respect our history is to prevent others from discriminating against Missourians who belong to the Native American community. In fact, the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) protects all Missourians from adverse treatment because of their race or ancestry and the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR), a state agency, enforces the MHRA by investigating complaints made by persons who believe they have been discriminated against in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation. If you suspect you have been discriminated against due to your race or another protected category, contact MCHR at 877-781-4236 or take this quick assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month by exploring these sites, activities, and events in our state: