Just before Ohio became a state in 1803, the U.S. government passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 to regulate the settlement of the Northwest Territory. There was cooperation between settlers and the Indigenous people of Ohio in those years before statehood, an exchange of ideas and technology and lots of intermarriage in cosmopolitan communities. But over time, pressure from the new settlers for more land increased.

And so, the early years of statehood were full of conflict and death. U.S. leaders pressed for treaty after treaty, all with questionable motives, and the Ohio tribes were pushed onto reservations further and further north in the state. Then, the U.S. government imposed forced removals.

But the descendants of those Indigenous people who were forced to leave their homelands in Ohio exist today.

This year, join Neenah Ellis and Chris Welter at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO Public Radio to hear Native men and women from different tribes and their allies—plus teachers, artists, scholars, parents, landowners, foresters, young people, and historians, too—tell their stories about the lands above the Ohio River, known as the Ohio Country.

Some episodes will be sad and difficult to hear—but important, we think, so Ohio can face and embrace all of its rich, layered complicated self.

The Ohio Country is a forthcoming series from WYSO and funded by Ohio Humanities. You can listen at WYSO.org, ohiohumanities.org, and in all those other places where you get podcasts.

This series is made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities' A More Perfect Union initiative. Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Ohio Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
© 2019 Ohio Humanities