Nebraska: Omaha Reservation


The Omaha originally lived in the Ohio River Valley along with ancestors of the Kansa, Osage, Ponca and Quapaw Indians. Eventually, these tribes separated with most of the people moving further west. The Omaha, aka “those going against the wind or current” and aka “upstream people” arrived in Nebraska in the early 1700s. They lived in earth lodges and relied on crops and buffalo for food. 

History of the Reservation: In 1780, the Omaha tribal population was estimated at 2,800 members. However, this sharply declined to a mere 300 people after exposure to White settlers and traders. In 1855, the Omaha was forced to relinquish extensive hunting grounds in exchange for a reservation. However, in 1865, the government sold half of the Omaha Reservation to the Winnebago Tribe, and the Omaha now live on the remaining half of their original reservation, a 307-square-mile area. The Omaha originally had their settlements along the Missouri River in eastern Nebraska. 

Life on the Reservation: Today, around 4,700 people live on the Omaha Reservation, and about 5,000 members are enrolled in the tribe. Farming, tribal and federal governments, a casino and a resort provide some jobs to Omaha residents, who have a median annual income of $56,000. The tribe’s efforts to establish economic activity have helped, yet 1 in 5 residents remain below the poverty line and 13% of the working population is unemployed. 

Omaha on the map: Northeastern Nebraska 


Income, Poverty, Land Size, Population 

Enrollment, History 


Alternative Joblessness Reference (69%) 

More History 

More History