Before Sitting Bull, There Was Little Turtle of the Great Lakes Miami
Across the world, and throughout much of the United States, the phrase “Miami people” might conjure up images of beautiful beaches, flashy nightclubs, cigars and salsa.
Trivia buffs may know that the city was named after the Miami river, which in turn was named after Lake Mayaimi…which itself was a name sourced from the Mayaimi, a former Native American tribe indigenous to Florida.
In Indiana, Miami people refers to an entirely different group of Native Americans, indigenous to the Great Lakes region. Although the Great Lakes Miami have nothing to do with Florida, they played a large role in shaping regional history and are a major reason why we have ‘Indian’ in our state name.
One of the most prominent Miami was legendary Northwest Indian War figure Little Turtle. Although less well known than Geronimo, Sitting Bull and some of the other figures from later Indian Wars, Little Turtle was a brilliant military commander and respected leader.