PIQUA SHAWNEE TRIBE Of Alabama
Books About The
Most historians label Shawnee people as
because they have found evidence of Shawnee people moving about in
North America, settling in various places and often retaining small
family units for long periods of time.
The state of Alabama has long been the home of many Shawnee people.
In fact, some historians state that perhaps the Shawnee people have
inhabited Alabama for a longer period of time than any other
geographic region. Some archaeologists set the date of 1685 as the
first evidence of Shawnee settlement in Alabama. However, oral
tradition states that we have been here much longer than that.
Ancient burial sites that use burial methods common to the Shawnee
have been located in several sections of the state. Early accounts
can be confusing since what is now called Alabama was once a part of
Georgia territory. Several early maps show Shawnee settlements in
what is now called Alabama.
Early French and English maps show several Shawnee towns in what
would be considered Upper Creek territory in Alabama. Some of the
most notable were near modern Alabama towns. One village was near
present day Talladega and was known in English as Shawnee Town.
Another town was near Sylacauga. In 1750 the French took a census
mentioning the Shawnee at Sylacauga as well as enumerating another
Shawnee town called Cayomulgi, (currently spelled Kyamulga town)
that was located nearby. Kiamulgatown was also listed in an 1832
census. A 1761 English census names Tallapoosa Town. This town was
also named in a 1792 census by Marbury. There are French military
records that mention a Shawnee presence at Wetumpka near Fort
Toulouse. In most cases the traders called Alabama Indians “Creeks”
because they lived on the numerous creeks and waterways in the area.
Many of these “Creeks” were not of the same tribe or nation. Rather
they went by a large number of names. Each group maintained their
own unique heritage while living side by side with their neighbors.
Now, in the 21st century, there are many descendants who still call
Alabama home. Many of their family stories are varied. Some avoided
walking the Trail of Tears. Some families escaped into the
Cumberland mountains, others hid in swamps or less traveled places.
A careful study of southeastern history will reveal that not all
settlers agreed with Andrew Jackson’s removal policy. While many
people did not escape the removal, some did. After the turmoil
subsided some families returned. Many families chose to live in
outlying rural areas where there was little government scrutiny and
their neighbors weren’t too curious. While a lot was lost, family
histories and ways were passed down.
It is out of that background that current Piquas live and work to
preserve their unique heritage. The tribe consists of several family
groups that are interrelated and live in several states. We also
have relatives who reside in Canada. Currently the majority of
Piquas live in Alabama, with members also in Tennessee, Kentucky,
Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Maryland, and South Carolina.
Because we are so widely dispersed, we have at least four tribal
gatherings per year in alternating geographic locations, thereby
preventing any of our people from having to travel much farther than
While we have a Principal chief, and second chief, our tribal
government is maintained by a Tribal Council. The Council is
composed of clan mothers and clan chiefs, with an advisory body
known as the Council of Elders. Tribal Council is conducted in
accordance with Clan protocol. All issues are debated and taken
before the clans for consideration and deliberation. It is the
function of the Council to debate and seek consensus on all tribal
matters so that the people speak with one voice. Modern positions
such as treasurer and secretary are determined by election for a set
period of time. These positions do not have a vote on Council.
In 1991 the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky recognized the
Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee as an Indian tribe. On July 10, 2001 the
Alabama Indian Affairs Commission under the authority of the
Davis-Strong Act recognized the Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee Tribe as
an Indian tribe in the state of Alabama, thus making the Piqua Sept
the first petitioning group to be recognized in 17 years.
Enrollment will be considered by the Tribal Council for applicants
who can document their Shawnee ancestry. Those applicants who are of
American Indian descent other than Shawnee must be descended from a
tribe that was known to live with the Shawnee prior to the 1832
removal act. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit so that we
may get to know you before any decisions are made regarding
For further information please contact:
Principal Chief: Gary Hunt
Piqua Shawnee Tribe
3412 Wellford Circle
Birmingham, Alabama 35226
Indian Commission Representative: Don Rankin
3412 Wellford Circle
Birmingham, Alabama 35226
Tribal Secretary: Debbie Hurst
If you would like to read more about the Shawnee people the
following books may help:
Shawnee!!, James Howard, Ohio
Tecumseh..a Life, John Sugden,
The History of Alabama, Albert Pickett (originally pub,1851
reprinted 1962), Birmingham Book and Magazine
The Shawnee, Jerry E. Clark, The University of Kentucky Press
Tukabatchee, Archaeological lnvestigations at an historic Creek
town Elmore County, Alabama 1984, by Vernon James Knight, Jr.,
The University of Alabama.
Alabama Indian Affairs Commission
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