The Wea Indian Tribe

This is the ONLY official, authorized web site of the Wea Indian Tribe.
Accept No Substitutes!

Aya! Come on in, sit back and enjoy learning about the Wea Indians:
Their heritage, culture and its people! Experience their past, present
and future. Hope you enjoy your visit, please come again!




Wea Tribal Council

Principal Chief - Ray Haffner - - 765-284-2280
Civil Chief - Ronald Melton -
Elder Council Officer - Max Haffner – email unavailable
Council Officer & Memberships - Brenda Lindley -
Council Officer - Pat Pastore - - 765-832-9589
Council Officer - VACANT –
Council Officer - David Keller – - 906-474-9492


Brenda Lindley – CEO, Administrator/Treasurer -
Pat Pastore – Vice CEO -
Susie Williams – Director - email unavailable


Genealogist & Historian - Brenda Lindley - Wea-Indian-Tribe-LafIN@comc
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Mission Statement:

To unite all descendants of the Wea Indian Tribe for the preservation of our Tribal heritage for the future generations to come!

The Wea Indian Tribe of today is composed of the descendants of the once great Wea Nation whose homeland was in the beautiful country side of Indiana. Our Ancestors go back to the dawn of time in the land now called America. In the beginning we lived peacefully and happily at Greenbay, an Island to the west side of Great Lake Michigan, and in and around Detroit then known as still part of Canada (prior to 1672). After the white man came and infringed upon the lands of our brothers the Iroquois; the Iroquois then sought new homeland…the Great Lakes.

After many struggles with the powerful Iroquois over the land the Wea moved for a short time to the Chicago area (prior to 1688). We then moved into upper Indiana and eventually settled in central west to southern west of the state (prior to 1700). The Wea dominated from around the Lafayette area all the way to Vincennes, and as far east as past Thorntown, Indiana until after removal times. This area was known as part of the Wabash River Valley, AKA the Northwest Territory.

There were also groups of the Wea living, from time to time, in Ohio in and around Greenville and Darke County, and some of us were in Illinois around Kaskaskia & Fort de Chartres, and the Kankakee Portage. The majority, or main villages, of the Wea were in Indiana. The Wea were one of the first inhabitants to live in, and make a permanent home in Indiana.

The removals began for our People in the early 1820 but not much was done until the 1830s. Civil Chief Christmas Noel Winriscah Dagenette 1799-1848, had the grim task of leading the People west. He made three trips taking the People to their “new home.” The forced removal came in 1836-1846 when our People were herded like cattle and placed upon steam boats up & down several rivers and transported across the Mississippi to Kansas. We were dumped there and had to walk on foot the rest of the several hundred miles to our “new home.” The Government had promised to feed, water, and shelter us upon our arrival that first year…they never showed up. Of the 350 souls that made the trip over 150 of us died from starvation, disease, and broken hearts. One of our Grandfathers said, “if it hadn’t been for the rattlesnakes in our new home we would have starved to death that year.” Christmas Dagenette died in Kansas in 1848 after his last trip there. He is buried near Louisburg, Kansas. Today many of his descendants still live in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Not all the Wea went west. Some stayed behind by fleeing into the wilderness of the deep Forrest of southern Indiana and Ohio. Principal Chief Jacco Tackeketah Godfroy, 1777-1854 was one of those, among other Wea families, that took his family and left. He saw what the White Government was doing, and before the removals came he went away. Some years afterwards he came back to Indiana. In his last years he lived with his daughter. He died there with her on her farm and was buried in his beloved homeland of Indiana. (Jacco is the 4th great grandfather of our present day Chief, Terry Stuff; and Tribal Elder Max Haffner , Waapisooli Paapaankamwa.) Today many of his descendants still live in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.

After a while in Kansas the Wea, Peoria, Kaskaskia, and Piankashaws because of their small numbers joined forces. They asked, and were granted by the U.S. Government, to combine their tribes. They were then known as the Confederated Peoria Tribes. This was done in the Treaty of 1854. After 1854 the Wea were considered extinct by the U.S. Government. Later the Confederated Peoria Tribes were reinstated as a recognized Tribe by the Government, and today are known as the Peoria Indian Tribe of Oklahoma.

Many historians refer to the Wea as Miami, or a sub-tribe of the Miami. But we were and always have been our own People and Nation.

Some of Our Ancestors’ Home Villages:

Ouiatenon…Fort Ouiatenon…Lafayette, Indiana
We had 5 villages here, the largest being Ouiatenon.

Wea Plains…near Grandville…near Lafayette, Indiana
Weauteno (Rising Sun)…Orchard Town…Terre Haute, Indiana
Sugar Creek…Parke County, Indiana
Kowasikka…Thorntown, Indiana
Kawiakiugi (Place of Thorns)…Thorntown, Indiana
Old Village…Oakhill, Danville, Illinois
Wea Reservation…Parke County, Indiana

The Piankashaw, Peticotias, Mascouten, Eel Rivers, Mangakekis, Kilataks, and Gros were all Wea Subtribes or clans/bands. Today they are either extinct/unknown or have been absorbed into other tribes. We are part of the great Algonquian Peoples, AKA Woodland Peoples. The Wea Clans, or totems, are: Bear, Deer, Serpent, and Acorn. Our colors are Cobalt Blue, Red, Yellow, and reddish Brown. We have been told that our Peoples name (Wea) means “the forrest People” or “light skinned ones,” or “people who live near the river eddy.” We think that ALL three identify us well.

Other spellings of Wea:

Weah - Wea - Weau

Some of the Wea Leaders/Chiefs were:

Jacco Tackeketah Godfroy 1777-1854
La Peau Blanche AKA White Skin
Crooked Legs
Christmas Noel Winriscah Dagenette 1799-1848
Kekequah AKA Haselip (Hairlip) 1830
Little Charlie AKA The Soldier 1809
Little Face 1777
Ohequanah AKA Little Eyes 1805-1820
Stone Eater
Goose 1766
Wapawqia AKA Swan 1815-1832
Keshewa AKA Bull 1803-1818
Assonnonquah 1805
Ohzahmacquah AKA Yellow Beaver 1820-1869
Wapamanqua AKA White Loon 1765-1805
Gotokowhkaka -or- Stands By Himself 1832


*indicated the Treaties that Jacco Godfroy signed.

Fort Wayne Indiana Territory, June 7, 1803
Vincennes Indiana Territory, August 13, 1803
Grouseland Indiana Territory, August 21, 1805
Vincennes Indiana Territory, December 30, 1805
Fort Wayne Indiana Territory, September 30, 1809
Vincennes Indiana Territory, October 26, 1809 *
Fort Harrison Indiana Territory, June 4, 1816 *
Vincennes Indiana Territory, January 3, 1818
St. Mary’s Ohio, October 2, 1818 *
Vincennes Indiana August 11, 1820
St. Joseph, Michigan, September 21, 1826
St. Joseph, Michigan, September 24, 1828*
Caster Hill Missouri, October 29, 1832
Washington D.C. May 30, 1854
Washington D.C. February 23, 1867

The Wea Indian Tribe of today started getting together as family in the early 1990s. By 1994 we were having family reunions and sharing history, notes, genealogy, and pictures of our past Ancestors. This “meeting of family” was the direct result of Max Haffner and Ed Melton’s over 35 years of research into our past and finding our living family members. There were others in the family that had done the same as Haffner and Melton . They were the Stuff, Fuller, Mendenhall, and Upgrapht families that led us all together.

As time passed we realized that the “family” wanted and needed more. Thus some of the families started work on reforming the TRIBE 3 years ago in 1997. On the other side of the United States the families of Dagenett, Cott, Conley, and others, were searching for missing family members too, unknown to the rest of us. We all found one another late in the year of 1999, and thus the Wea Family has grown. We have members in many states including Maine, Texas, California, Florida, as well as the states mentioned above. As of September 1999 we had our first Annual Wea Indian Tribal Gathering, and our second in August of 2000. We now have more than 184 members and we know of at least 400 more out there. Our Council is formed and we have some very simple bylaws in place. We are now Incorporated, Nonprofit, and Tax exempt.

Our main purpose is to honor our Ancestors by bringing back our language, history, culture, spirituality, and religion, and instilling some of the customs of the Old Ways for our People and our future generations to come. To locate all the “Places of our Ancestors” and get them cleaned up if need be, and to get them recognized as Wea Ground.

Our main goals are to be recognized, NOT by the Government at this time, but by and from our fellow Native American Indian brothers and sisters. To belong. To share, teach, and experience our ways and history with all People not just Native Americans. To teach our children and help others to understand us. To locate and reach out to all Wea no matter where in the world that they live. To let the world know that we are NOT extinct. We are ALIVE, proud, and thankful to be Wea.

The Wea Indian Tribe and the Tribal Council are diligent in helping others to identify their ancestors and Tribal affiliation. If you are a Wea descendant, or perhaps think that you might be, please contact the Tribal Office or any of the Council Members at once. We will provide you with genealogical help in determining if you are Wea, please see our “Genealogy Services” page. Along the way, if we find that you are of another Indian background we will lead you in the right direction to finding your People.

Within the Council we have several historians and genealogist, one of whom specializes in Wea, Miami, and Cherokee descendants. Please let us help you find your roots.

If you are simply curious, or are seeking additional information on the Wea People, please contact by email any of the Wea Council Members.

Weethsaamakiki neehi Nikimihsa, Te’epahki neey’olaani.
(My Brothers and my Sisters, it is good to see you. )


5 & 6
Wea Spring Gathering - For Wea Tribal Members Only & Specially Invited Guests.

Mt. Carmel, Illinois, at Beall Woods.

For more info contact:

Lisa at
Mary at

25 & 26 First Annual Intertribal Powwow, Honoring the Wea, Teaching Our Children
Cicotte’s Park, Independence, Indiana.

Wea Booth will be up and running.

Storyteller - Wea Elder Max Haffner

Hosted by Friends & Associates.

For Info contact:
Pat at

Directions: E. River Road, Left on N. Riverside Road, Left on E. Independence Road;


Take County Rd. 650 N., Right on E. Independence Road.

10-12 6th Annual Wea Indian Tribal Gathering.
For Wea Tribal Members Only & Specially Invited Guests.

Same place and arrangements as last year.

For Info contact: Any Tribal Council Member

24-26 9th Annual Gathering of the People Powwow

Vigo County Conservation Club Grounds, Terre Haute, Indiana

Wea Booth will be up and running.

Story Teller - Wea Elder Max Haffner

For Info contact: Vicki at
Ron at 812-232-1493

Directions: I-70 to left on US 41 to Right on US 40 to Left on Miami Garden Road to Left on Grotto Road.

2-3 Feast of the Hunter’s Moon at Fort Ouiatenon, S. River Road, Lafayette, Indiana

Come see the Wea in the opening procession! Wea Booth will be up and running.

For Info see:

8-10 6th Biannual Woman’s Retreat.

For ALL Native Woman 18+ and older. No men or children allowed.

By invitation only. Hosted by the Elder Wea Indian Women

For Info contact: Betty at