Native American Facts

Native American Facts
Native Americans lived in North America for thousands of years before the Europeans discovered the continent and began to settle it. As the Europeans settled North America, Native Americans were forced by war, laws, and manipulation into specific 'reserves' where they were supposed to be left to live as they wished. They struggled to retain their culture and way of life, and although the many tribes in North America today suffered greatly due to European settlement, they still exist. The Native American culture is still being taught to their children, and being passed on from generation to generation.
Interesting Native American Facts:
Christopher Columbus coined the term 'Indian' because he thought he had reached the East Indies when in fact he had reached North America.
European settlers brought many things with them that greatly impacted the Native way of life, including cattle, sheep, pigs, different foods, crops, and many diseases that killed many Natives.
For thousands of years before European settlement, horses had been extinct due to hunting. The Europeans brought them back to North America and this enabled the Natives to use them for hunting, traveling and even in war.
Native Americans lived in many types of houses in the past including wigwams, longhouses, tepees, grass houses, wattle and daub houses, chickees, adobe houses, earthen houses, plank houses, igloos, brush shelters. Today some Natives still live in adobe houses but most live in homes similar to homes lived in by everyone else in the U.S.
There are approximately 150 different Native American languages in the United States and Canada. There are as many as 700 other Native languages in Central and South America.
Different Native tribes wear different clothes and headdresses. They also have many different hairstyles.
Today there are approximately 2 million Native Americans living in the United States and approximately 1 million living in Canada.
Inuit, Eskimos, and Hawaiians are not considered to be Native Americans.
The Metis are not Native Americans. They are a mixed race of Cree Indians and French Canadians and have their own unique culture.
Native Americans have used several weapons throughout their history including bows and arrows, spears, war clubs, tomahawks, axes, knives, swords, coup sticks, bolas, blowguns, darts, shields, and armor. Today bow hunting is still popular among some tribes.
Native Americans traditionally found food in several ways including fishing, hunting, raising animals and farming.
Indian corn was a very important Native American crop. Other popular foods included beans, pumpkins, squash, wild rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes, peanuts, peppers, avocados, and sunflowers.
Meat was often an important part of the Native American diet including elk, buffalo, rabbit, deer, caribou, geese, turkeys, clams, shellfish, fish, and seals and whales, depending on where the tribe was located.
Some Native American tribes include the Abenakis, Algonquins, Apaches, Blackfoot, Catawbas, Cayugas, Cherokees, Cheyennes, Chinooks, Chippewas, Comanches, Crows, Haidas, Hopis, Iroquois, Lakotas, Micmacs, Mohawks, and the Mohicans. There are many more than these.
There have been many books written about Native Americans. There have also been movies made about them including Windtalkers, Dances with Wolves, and Spirit of Crazy Horse.


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