Trans-Mississippi International Exposition, Omaha (1898)

The 1898 Indian Congress was held in Omaha, Nebraska from August 4 to October 3 in conjunction with the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition. More than 500 people from 35 different tribes were part of the Exposition. According to W. A. Jones, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs:

It is the purpose of the promoters of the proposed encampment or congress to make an extensive exhibit illustrative of the mode of life, native industries, and ethnic traits of as many of the aboriginal American tribes as possible. To that end it is proposed to bring together selected families or groups from all the principal tribes and camp them in tepees, wigwams, hogans etc., on the exposition grounds, and permit them to conduct their domestic affairs as they do at home, and make and sell their wares for their own profit (Report of the Board of Management. Trans-Mississippi International Exposition, 1898).

Several Chiricahua Apaches who were being held as prisoners of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma attended, including Naiche, Geronimo, Perico, and Yanuzha. Twelve years earlier, these men were among the last Native opponents of U. S. imperialism. In 1898, they were POWs exhibited for the interest and enjoyment of European-Americans.