The Mexican Kickapoo

This is the Arkansas branch

This is the Arkansas branch

“The Mexican Kickapoo,” Andrae Marak reminds us in the Fall 2014 World History Bulletin:

an Algonquin-speaking indigenous group, lived in Nacimiento, Coahuila, and practiced hunting, gathering, and a limited amount of agriculture. Despite having a permanent settlement in Coahuila they spent much of their lives migrating across Mexico and the United States in search of a livelihood.

They first encountered Europeans around Lake Michigan in the Great Lakes region sometime in the early seventeenth century.

Over the course of two centuries the Kickapoo split into several different bands and were driven, through nearly continual warfare . . . to Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

In 1832 one group of Kickapoo settled in Texas, at that time part of Mexico. In exchange for agreeing to abide by Mexican laws, the Mexican government promised them title to land. In 1836, when Texas achieved independence from Mexico, the anti-Indian policies of the new Texan government became so harsh [the Kickapoo were officially expelled in 1839] that many Kickapoo travelled south, where they were incorporated into the Mexican army and helped the government fight against the raiding parties of other indigenous groups. Thus came into existence the Mexican Kickapoo.

In 1850 a new group of Kickapoo together with a group of Seminoles and some escaped slaves, emigrated to Mexico and officially petitioned the government for the right to set up a military colony in Coahuila.

On 27 June 1850 they signed an agreement with the federal government [of Mexico] agreeing to obey Mexican law and to defend Mexico against the Apache and Comanche. In return the agreement stipulated that although the new settlers had to submit themselves to the laws of Mexico, they did not have “to change their habits or customs”. This stipulation proved critical since no subsequent Mexican government, regardless of political orientation, has ever tried to use force to get the Kickapoo to give up their culture.

Them there greasy Meksy-Skins sure need to be taught how to observe the Rule of Law by the Government of the United States, don’t they?

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
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