Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: peoria | oklahoma | native american |
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image by António Martins, 17 June 2004
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Peoria - Oklahoma
The Peoria of Oklahoma have a long and complicated history. The Peoria are a band of the Illinois Tribe, which was considered one of the westernmost parts of the Algonquin people. By 1833, continued encroachment by the white man forced the Peoria, along with their fellow band of Illinois, the Kaskaskias, to move west to present-day Nebraska and Kansas. There they joined with two Miami bands, the Weas and the Piankashaws. These four bands, later relocated to what is now northeastern Oklahoma, are now known as the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma (Official Emblem of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, flyer, n.d., Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma).
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Peoria of Oklahoma reflects this history. The seal of the Peoria Nation appears on a white background. On a red disk, which recalls the trials of the ancestors of the Peoria, is a large arrowhead, colored white on the flag but depicted in natural colors when used as a seal (Annin & Co.). The large arrowhead, pointing downward as a sign of peace, represents the present generation of the Peoria people and their promise to work as individuals and as a Tribe to cherish, honor, and preserve the heritage and customs left to them by preceding generations. The two emblems - the disk and the arrowhead - combine to mean that the Peoria will live in peace but will be suppressed by no one.
Four arrows cross the large arrowhead to form two overlapping "X": turquoise for the Piankashaws and the native soil; red for the Peorias and the sun; blue for the Weas and the waters; and green for the Kaskaskias and the grass and trees. The colors act as a reminder that the soil, sun, waters, and plants are gifts of the Great Spirit and should not be taken for granted. The arrows promise future generations that the spirit of a united Peoria people cannot be broken and that its heritage and customs will never be forgotten.
From the red disk hang five white-and-black eagle feathers, one for each elected member of the Peoria Tribal Business Committee. They are the chief, second chief, the secretary-treasurer, and the first and second councilmen. The emblem was designed by tribal member Alice Giles Burgess and approved by the committee on 29 January 1983. It was presented to the tribal membership at the annual meeting the following March.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 25 January 2008