Once a proud and populous Algonquin people lived in what is now the
State of Illinois. These were the Illiniwek or Illini. When the
French explorers Marquette and Joliet first encountered the Illini, they
were numerous and prosperous. But the Illini were devastated in a
particularly brutal war with the Haundenosaunee (Iroquois). Although
Europeans were not directly involved in the attacks on the Illini,
the European demand for furs--particularly beaver--caused the Iroquois
to deplete their natural hunting grounds. They looked north and west with
predictable results. Subsequent wars with the Chickasaw and others further reduced the Illini to a mere
fragment of their former greatness.
Today the Illiniwek are proudly represented by the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma. However, there no longer remains a single full-blood Illiniwek, male or female.
History is written by the winners, so goes the old cliche. The history
of the United States, particularly in the westward expansion period, has been
written for the most part by the historians of the dominant culture.
Needless to say, Native American leaders have rarely been portrayed
in an honest, factual manner.
The Great Native American Leaders site hopes to provide a different look at history through the lives of these great people.
Warrior Spirit is an electronic bulletin board that posts topical items of interest to the First Nations, the First People, and their supporters. Mixed in with the the news articles, you will find plenty of opinion!
Leonard Peltier was convicted of killing two FBI agents and is now serving a life sentence in the Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. Many people, including former United States Attorney Genenral Ramsey Clark, are certain that Peltier, who has spent more than twenty years behind bars, is guilty of nothing more than being an Indian. To learn more about this sad case of injustice, please visit the Leonard Peltier Tribute Site. In addition to links that explain in exhaustive detail the ins and outs of this infamous court case, there are also tributes in poetry, prose, and arts by people who believe in Peltier's innocence.