Wea Indians

From Ohio History Central
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The Wea people were members of the Miami nation, although they lived apart from the Miami. The United States referred to the Wea as a separate tribe in the Treaty of Greeneville (1794). The Wea were a small group of American Indians who lived in Wisconsin at the time of first European contact, although they primarily occupied lands in Indiana during the era of Anglo-American colonization. They spoke a dialect of the Algonquian language -- the Miami-Illinois language. "Wea" is a shortened version of their many recorded names.

In the late 1700s and the early 1800s, the Piankashaw and the Wea worked closely together, often sharing the same villages. In 1820, the Wea sold their lands in Indiana to the United States. They remained in Missouri and Illinois until 1832, when, compelled by aggressive U.S. Indian Removal policy, they agreed to move to a reservation in Kansas. Some members of the Wea people stayed behind, along the Wabash River in Indiana.

The Wea did not play a major role in Ohio during the 1700s and the 1800s, but they were signatories in numerous treaties concerning American Indian land rights and holdings in the Ohio Territory. In these agreements, the Wea forfeited all claims to their land in what is modern-day Ohio.

The Wea, along with the Piankashaw and the Kaskaskia, are a part of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, a federally-recognized tribe based in Miami, Oklahoma.

See Also


  1. Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
  2. Wheeler-Voegelin, Erminie,  Emily J. Blasingham, and Dorothy R. Libby. An Anthropological Report on the Miami, Wea, and Eel-River Indians. New York, NY: Garland Pub. Inc., 1974.