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Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas

The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, based in Eagle Pass, is a federally recognized tribe that uses revenue from its gaming and business operations to provide housing, education and social services to its members. The tribe is a model for other Native American tribes seeking to lift its members out of poverty, because they were living under the international bridge over the Rio Grande as recently as the 1980s.[2]

Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
Grupo Kikapú en Coahuila México.jpg
Southern Kickapoo people building a
winter house in Nacimiento,
Coahuila, Mexico, 2008
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Texas)
English, Kickapoo[1]
traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Kickapoo people and
Fox, Sauk, and Shawnee people[2]
Kickapoo Indian Reservation
Location in Texas
Location in Texas
TribeKickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersRosita South
 • BodyTribal Council
 • ChairmanEstavio Elizondo
 • SecretaryDavid Valdez
 • TreasurerDavid Treviño
 • Total416



The Kickapoo Indian Reservation of Texas is located at 28°36′37″N 100°26′19″W / 28.61028°N 100.43861°W / 28.61028; -100.43861 on the Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border in western Maverick County, just south of the city of Eagle Pass, as part of the community of Rosita South. It has a land area of 0.4799 square kilometres (118.6 acres). There are currently 960 tribal members living on the Eagle Pass reservation and tribal lands in Nacimiento, Mexico, where the tribe often holds ceremonies. Tribal members must be at least one-fourth Kickapoo.


The Texas Kickapoos adopted their Constitution in 1989. They are governed by the Traditional Council, made up of five members elected by secret ballot. The current Council Chairman is Estavio Elizondo Sr., Menikapah..[5]


The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas members are related ethnically to the Fox, Sauk and Shawnee tribes. Many tribal members speak English, Spanish and the Kickapoo language, which is a Fox language and part of the Algonquian language family.[1] They also use Kickapoo whistled speech.

Economic developmentEdit

Tribal enterprises include the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel, which provides Class II gaming, the Lucky Eagle Convenience Store, Kickapoo Empire, which is an 8A business, a pecan farm, ranches located in both the U.S. and Mexico, a gas station in Múzquiz, Coahuila Mexico with PEMEX, and other businesses in Maverick County. Tribal members receive educational, housing, wellness and other social services from the tribe. [6]


The Texas Kickapoo's history is intertwined with that of Texas. According to the Handbook of Texas, the Tribe settled in Texas in the early 1800s at the invitation of the Spanish government, which was hoping native tribes would provide a buffer against American settlement in the region. By 1839, however, most Kickapoos had left Texas for Mexico or Indian Territory as a treaty proposed by Sam Houston was never ratified. The Tribe was granted land in Nacimiento, Coahuila, by the Mexican government in 1852. Tribal members returned to Texas periodically and over the years became seasonal migrant farmers in the U.S. The Tribe was officially recognized by the Texas Indian Commission under Senate Bill 168, 65th Legislature, Regular Session, in 1977. In 1982, they were recognized as an official sub-group of the Oklahoma Kickapoo Indian Tribe, enabling them to acquire their own reservation, under control of the Bureau of Indian Affairs instead of the state of Texas. In 1985 the tribe was granted a government to government relationship with the federal government which granted them the 118 acres in Eagle Pass they occupy today and have maintained the relationship continuously.


  1. ^ a b "Kickapoo." Ethnologue. Retrieved 12 Sept 2013.
  2. ^ a b Priztker 420
  3. ^ "Tribal Council". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. ^ 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. "My Tribal Area". United States Census Bureau.
  5. ^ "Tribal Directory." National Congress of American Indians. Retrieved 25 Oct 2017.
  6. ^ "Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino." Retrieved 7 Nov 2017.


  • Miller, Tom. On the Border: Portraits of America's Southwestern Frontier. 2000. ISBN 978-0595143344.
  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1

External linksEdit