The ancestors of the Caddo Indians were agriculturalists whose distinctive way of life and material culture emerged by A.D. 900, as revealed in archaeological sites in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. When members of Hernando de Soto’s expedition entered the region in 1542, thriving Caddo communities were distributed along the Brazos, Trinity, Neches, Sabine, Red, and Ouachita rivers. These communities played important economic and diplomatic roles during the seventeenth and eighteenth century colonial era.
The Caddo people suffered hardships when the United States government removed them to reservations in Texas and later Oklahoma during the nineteenth century.
Indian Territory (Oklahoma) 1866-1889
Additional losses resulted from the subsequent sale of reservation lands as a result of allotment. Twentieth century efforts to revitalize economic, social, political, and religious institutions preserved links with this heritage that enable the Caddo people to maintain a distinctive identity today and continue building toward a hopeful and prosperous future.