The Wyandot Nation was originally located near Georgian Bay in Ontario. Their name comes from Wendat
, which translates to "dwellings on the Penninsula." It was composed of a confederation of several different tribes. Villages were from 1 to 10 acres, enclosed by palisades, and often contained 900 to 1600 people in longhouses. At its peak, population was estimated at 20,000-40,000.
The Wendat Confederacy found itself fighting with the neighboring Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), a situation that deteriorated rapidly as the Iroquois allied themselves with the Dutch and English and the Wyandot allied with the French. By the 1650s, disease and warfare had taken their toll and many of the survivors fled to Michigan and Ohio where they provided the roots for the later Wyandot Nation of Kansas, Wyandot Nation of Oklahoma, and the Wyandotte Nation of Anderson.
Until 1843 the Wyandot successfully remained in Ohio and Michigan. In that year they finally decided to remove West after an unpunished murder convinced them it was no longer safe to stay. They were the last tribe to leave Ohio and a number of spectators came to see them off, including a family with smallpox. When they got to Kansas, a number of members were ill. Shelters that had been promised never arrived and a large porton of Wyandot died. The land which became Huron Cemetery or the Wyandot National Burying Ground was established to deal with this tragedy.
The tribe split over the issue of slavery, resulting in the formation of Wyandott City and later Quindaro. Quindaro was a partnership between the Abolitionist Wyandot and the New England Immigrant Aid Company, while Wyandott City was considered pro-slavery.
In 1855, a treaty was signed, officially ending the existence of the Wyandot Tribe. Those choosing to remain Indian were sent to Oklahoma. A series of violations of the treaty, including illegal taxation and land sales, cost the Citizen Wyandot much of their property. The remnant tribe in Oklahoma was forced to retreat to Kansas and both factions had Councils in operation, even thought the U.S. government said neither council was valid. In 1867, the tribe was reorganized, but one faction kept the makority of the Kansas (Citizen or Absentee) Band from being included in the reorganization. This ultimately resulted in the formation of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas and the Wyandott Nation of Oklahoma. While all four Nations are recognized by the Canadian government, only the Oklahoma tribe is recognized by the United States at this time. In 1999, the Wyandot Confederacy was officially reestablished.
This information was compiled by the Franklin County Historical Society.