Lorain’s International Legacy

Native American

Native Americans in the city of Lorain have a complex history; the chronology of history for the city of Lorain claims that the last Native Americans within township limits were last seen in 1817. There is no mention specifically towards Native American history until 1955, when Cleveland was selected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA, a subsection of the U.S. Department of the Interior) as a site for the voluntary relocation of Native Americans to urban cities and off of reservations.

Prehistoric Native Americans in the area have no known direct connection between themselves and the Native Americans that were seen in the area by European settlers (known by the Amherst Historical Society as “Historic Native Americans”). There are no known numbers on how many Native Americans moved to Cleveland following the relocation act of 1956 that provided assistance to Native Americans for up to a year following their relocation. Only assumptions can be made that they migrated to Lorain via Cleveland in search for manual labor and other manufacturing jobs. Ford opened a Lorain assembly plant by the mid- to late 1950s that helped bring in more immigrant and migrant workers from across the nation and the world.

According to the 2010 census, there were 324 Native Americans in Lorain city, or 0.5% of the population.