The Omaha Native American Tribe originated because of a division within the Sioux Nation in the early 1500's. They had lived near present-day Cincinnati, Ohio. The Omaha moved south-west to the mouth of the Missouri River on the northern edge of present-day St. Louis, Missouri. The Omaha remained near St. Louis until the late 1700's, when they migrated north up the Missouri River and finally stopped near Pipestone, Minnesota. Their name "Omaha" means "those going against the wind or current," which may refer to this migration up the Missouri River. Then the Omaha began a migration back south to the Missouri River staking-out hunting grounds on the west side of the Missouri River, now known as Nebraska. Their territory extended from near Yankton, South Dakota, south to Rulo, Nebraska, and up to 150 miles west; an area of 35,600,000 acres.

Around 1750, the Omaha encountered the first Europeans, fur traders, near the mouth of the Platte River. Around 1800, the first of these fur traders married into the Omaha tribe. The Omaha thrived through the 1700's, as they were excellent hunters and good farmers. They always grew good gardens of corn, beans, squash and melons. They also hunted buffalo, which provided food, clothing, blankets, rope, moccasins, fuel, shelter, and utensils. By 1815, the Omaha became very worried about their food supply and protection from hostile tribes. By a treaty in 1854, the Omaha gave up much of their territory, except for the area of the present reservation. The headquarters of the Omaha Tribe is located in Macy, Nebraska.