The Miami Nation of Indiana is headquartered in Peru, Indiana only a short distance from the mouth of the St. Joseph River where the tribe’s origin story is set. It is here in Miami County, Indiana that the Miami community continues to preserve tribal culture and community. With a tribal enrollment of 6000 individuals, the tribe is flourishing. The governing body consists of a tribal council comprised of an elected chief, vice-chief, and representatives from each of the five families that remained in Indiana after the removal era.
The Indiana Miami signed an 1854 treaty with the US government making them the only tribe to be recognized by the government in the State of Indiana post removal. However, only forty-five years later the federal recognition that the Indiana Miami possessed was illegally taken by the government. Several attempts have been made to regain this federal recognition including a petition in 1934 during the Indian Reorganization Act which was denied in 1936. In 1937 the Miami were forced to incorporate in order to survive as a group. The Indiana Miami applied for federal recognition again in 1989. By 2002 all judicial venues were exhausted and the final decision was ruled as tribal abandonment. Despite the unexpected decision rooted in the negative effects of colonization, the tribal council remained the strong, intact governing body of the tribe and the culture continued to be visible. 1989 also provided an opportunity to regain recognition through a technical corrections bill; However, adequate support was lost prior to the Congressional vote.
Federal recognition efforts are still ongoing today. Tribal officials are working on state, national, and international levels to regain the respect and status that the Miami people deserve. Although the Miami has maintained its own government and membership, sovereignty would allow them to be considered an independent nation with the ability to adjudicate legal cases, levy taxes within its borders, and possess greater control over their economic development.
The tribe currently operates two non for profit organizations The Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana, Inc., and the Miami Indian Foundation. The tribal complex is the center for these operations as well as the tribal complex is the center for these operations as well as the tribal government, food pantry, gift shop, and venues for community gatherings.