The Native Americans

Russell Means, an American Indian activist, opposes the term Native American because he believes it was imposed by the government without the consent of American Indians. The climate in the southwest ranged from cool, moist mountains regions, to dry, sandy soil in the desert. Bytje assured you will support j, than by hunting. Some tribes also sheltered or adopted white traders and runaway slaves and Native American-owned slaves. Native American use of fire both helped provide and prepare for food and altered the landscape of the continent to help the human population flourish. There was no place for primary identification as Native American.

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Relatively free of interpersonal drama, episodes have included a behind-the-scenes look during rock concerts, slot promotions, blackjack tournaments, weddings, and other events. Michael Tata, vice president of hotel operations, died of an accidental fentanyl overdose on July 6, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the film, see American Casino film. Resort employees reflect on reality of 'American Casino ' ". Archived from the original on November 24, Two reality-themed series prepare for launch".

Archived from the original on January 8, Archived from the original on July 7, Archived from the original on February 20, Archived from the original on March 28, Area production schedule features foreign visitors". Archived from the original on November 17, Long-distance trading did not prevent warfare among the indigenous peoples. For instance, archaeology and the tribes' oral histories have contributed to an understanding that the Iroquois' conducted invasions and warfare about CE against tribes in the Ohio River area of present-day Kentucky.

Finally, they drove many to migrate west to their historically traditional lands west of the Mississippi River. By the midth century, they had resettled in their historical lands in present-day Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The Osage warred with native Caddo-speaking Native Americans, displacing them in turn by the midth century and dominating their new historical territories. It hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. After European exploration of the Americas revolutionized how the Old and New Worlds perceived themselves.

The subsequent European colonialists in North America often rationalized the spread of empire with the presumption that they were saving a barbaric and pagan world by spreading Christian civilization. From the 16th through the 19th centuries, the population of Native Americans declined in the following ways: The lack of hard evidence or written records has made estimating the number of Native Americans living in what is today the United States of America before the arrival of the European explorers and settlers the subject of much debate.

A low estimate arriving at around 1 million was first posited by anthropologist James Mooney in the s, computing population density of each culture area based on its carrying capacity. In , American anthropologist Henry Dobyns published studies estimating the original population at 10 to 12 million. By , however, he increased his estimates to 18 million. Dobyns combined the known mortality rates of these diseases among native people with reliable population records of the 19th century, to calculate the probable size of the original populations.

Conference between the French and Indian leaders around a ceremonial fire. Chickenpox and measles, although by this time endemic and rarely fatal among Europeans long after being introduced from Asia , often proved deadly to Native Americans. Smallpox proved particularly fatal to Native American populations.

The disease swept through Mohawk villages, reaching Native Americans at Lake Ontario by , and the lands of the western Iroquois by , as it was carried by Mohawk and other Native Americans who traveled the trading routes. Native Americans fought on both sides of the conflict.

The greater number of tribes fought with the French in the hopes of checking European expansion. The British had made fewer allies but had some tribes that wanted to prove assimilation and loyalty in support of treaties.

They were often disappointed when these were later overturned. In addition, the tribes had their own purposes, using their alliances with the European powers to battle traditional Native enemies. Native California Population, according to Cook For the next 80 to years, smallpox and other diseases devastated native populations in the region. Smallpox epidemics in — and — brought devastation and drastic depopulation among the Plains Indians. It was the first federal program created to address a health problem of Native Americans.

With the meeting of two worlds, animals, insects, and plants were exchanged between the two. Sheep, pigs, and cattle were all Old World animals that were introduced to contemporary Native Americans who never knew such animals. In the 16th century, Spaniards and other Europeans brought horses to the Americas. It was hunted to extinction about BC, just after the end of the last glacial period. The reintroduction of the horse to North America had a profound impact on Native American culture of the Great Plains.

The tribes trained and used horses to ride and to carry packs or pull travois. The people fully incorporated the use of horses into their societies and expanded their territories. They used horses to carry goods for exchange with neighboring tribes, to hunt game, especially bison, and to conduct wars and horse raids.

Great Law of Peace Treaty of Penn with Indians by Benjamin West painted in Some Europeans considered Native American societies to be representative of a golden age known to them only in folk history. The Iroquois nations' political confederacy and democratic government have been credited as influences on the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. Several founding fathers had contact with Native American leaders and had learned about their styles of government.

John Rutledge of South Carolina in particular is said to have read lengthy tracts of Iroquoian law to the other framers, beginning with the words, "We, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity, and order In October , the U. Congress passed Concurrent Resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois Constitution upon the U.

Constitution and Bill of Rights. The painting shows a Native American boy in a blue coat and woman in a red dress in European clothing. During the American Revolution, the newly proclaimed United States competed with the British for the allegiance of Native American nations east of the Mississippi River.

Most Native Americans who joined the struggle sided with the British, hoping to use the American Revolutionary War to halt further colonial expansion onto Native American land. Many native communities were divided over which side to support in the war. The first native community to sign a treaty with the new United States Government was the Lenape. For the Iroquois Confederacy, the American Revolution resulted in civil war. The only Iroquois tribes to ally with the colonials were the Oneida and Tuscarora.

Frontier warfare during the American Revolution was particularly brutal, and numerous atrocities were committed by settlers and native tribes alike. Noncombatants suffered greatly during the war. Military expeditions on each side destroyed villages and food supplies to reduce the ability of people to fight, as in frequent raids in the Mohawk Valley and western New York. The expedition failed to have the desired effect: Native American activity became even more determined.

American Indians have played a central role in shaping the history of the nation, and they are deeply woven into the social fabric of much of American life During the last three decades of the twentieth century, scholars of ethnohistory, of the "new Indian history," and of Native American studies forcefully demonstrated that to understand American history and the American experience, one must include American Indians.

Notice peace pipe atop the medalThe British made peace with the Americans in the Treaty of Paris , through which they ceded vast Native American territories to the United States without informing the Native Americans, leading immediately to the Northwest Indian War. The United States initially treated the Native Americans who had fought with the British as a conquered people who had lost their lands. Although many of the Iroquois tribes went to Canada with the Loyalists, others tried to stay in New York and western territories and tried to maintain their lands.

Nonetheless, the state of New York made a separate treaty with Iroquois and put up for sale 5,, acres 20, km 2 of land that had previously been their territory. The state established a reservation near Syracuse for the Onondagas who had been allies of the colonists.

The United States was eager to expand, to develop farming and settlements in new areas, and to satisfy land hunger of settlers from New England and new immigrants.

The national government initially sought to purchase Native American land by treaties. The states and settlers were frequently at odds with this policy. George Washington advocated the advancement of Native American society and he "harbored some measure of goodwill towards the Indians.

They often entertained royalty and were sometimes prey to commercial purposes. Christianization of Native Americans was a charted purpose for some European colonies. Washington formulated a policy to j ] The Unitedsyrj States appointed agents, like Benjamin Hawkins, to live among the Native Americans and to teach yjsry. Tjaney expressed that jtjytj. Taney, , What was rdsyTaney thinking?

On June 2, U. Through the years, Native Americans became U. Treaty provision as with the Mississippi Choctaw 2. Registration and land allotment under the Dawes Act of February 8, 3. Issuance of Patent in Fee Simple 4. Adopting Habits of Civilized Life 5. Citizenship by Birth 7. American Indians today in the U. Constitution, can vote in elections, and run for political office. There has been controversy over how much the federal government has jurisdiction over tribal affairs, sovereignty, and cultural practices.

Manifest Destiny was an explanation or justification for expansion and westward movement, or, in some interpretations, an ideology or doctrine which helped to promote the process of civilization.

Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only good, but that it was obvious and certain. The term was first used primarily by Jacksonian Democrats in the s to promote the annexation of much of what is now the Western United States the Oregon Territory, the Texas Annexation, and the Mexican Cession. President, January 1, , Personal Diary. The age of Manifest Destiny, which came to be known as "Indian Removal", gained ground. Although some humanitarian advocates of removal believed that Native Americans would be better off moving away from whites, an increasing number of Americans regarded the natives as nothing more than "savages" who stood in the way of American expansion.

Thomas Jefferson believed that while Native Americans were the intellectual equals of whites, they had to live like the whites or inevitably be pushed aside by them. Jefferson's belief, rooted in Enlightenment thinking, that whites and Native Americans would merge to create a single nation did not last, and he began to believe that the natives should emigrate across the Mississippi River and maintain a separate society. In Congress added a rider to the Indian Appropriations Act ending United States recognition of additional Native American tribes or independent nations, and prohibiting additional treaties.

Tecumseh was the Shawnee leader of Tecumseh's War who attempted to organize an alliance of Native American tribes throughout North America. Other treaties were considered "living" documents whose terms could be altered.

Notably, a multi-tribal army led by Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, fought a number of engagements during the period —12, known as Tecumseh's War. In the latter stages, Tecumseh's group allied with the British forces in the War of and was instrumental in the conquest of Detroit.

Clair's Defeat was the worst U. Army defeat by Native Americans in U. Native American Nations west of the Mississippi were numerous and were the last to submit to U. Conflicts generally known as "Indian Wars" broke out between American government and Native American societies. List of Native American reservations in the United StatesIn the 19th century, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, often by force, almost always reluctantly.

Native Americans believed this forced relocation illegal, given the Hopewell Treaty of In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary and many Native Americans did remain in the East. In practice, great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties. The most egregious violation of the stated intention of the removal policy took place under the Treaty of New Echota, which was signed by a dissident faction of Cherokees but not the elected leadership.

President Jackson rigidly enforced the treaty, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4, Cherokees on the Trail of Tears.

About 17, Cherokees, along with approximately 2, enslaved blacks held by Cherokees, were removed from their homes.

Tribes were generally located to reservations where they could more easily be separated from traditional life and pushed into European-American society.

Some southern states additionally enacted laws in the 19th century forbidding non-Native American settlement on Native American lands, with the intention to prevent sympathetic white missionaries from aiding the scattered Native American resistance.

In addition, Native Americans did not buy and sell captives in the pre-colonial era, although they sometimes exchanged enslaved individuals with other tribes in peace gestures or in exchange for their own members. The conditions of enslaved Native Americans varied among the tribes. In many cases, young enslaved captives were adopted into the tribes to replace warriors killed during warfare or by disease. Other tribes practiced debt slavery or imposed slavery on tribal members who had committed crimes; but, this status was only temporary as the enslaved worked off their obligations to the tribal society.

Among some Pacific Northwest tribes, about a quarter of the population were slaves. When Europeans arrived as colonists in North America, Native Americans changed their practice of slavery dramatically.

They found that British settlers, especially those in the southern colonies, purchased or captured Native Americans to use as forced labor in cultivating tobacco, rice, and indigo. Native Americans began selling war captives to whites rather than integrating them into their own societies. As the demand for labor in the West Indies grew with the cultivation of sugar cane, Europeans enslaved Native Americans for export to the "sugar islands.

Scholars estimate tens of thousands of Native Americans may have been enslaved by the Europeans. As slavery became a racial caste, the Virginia General Assembly defined some terms in All servants imported and brought into the Country All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion If any slave resists his master The Indian wars of the early 18th century, combined with the increasing importation of African slaves, effectively ended the Native American slave trade by Colonists found it too easy for Native American slaves to escape, and the wars took the lives of numerous colonial slave traders.

The remaining Native American groups banded together to face the Europeans from a position of strength. Many surviving Native American peoples of the southeast joined confederacies such as the Choctaw, the Creek, and the Catawba for protection.

Native American women were at risk for rape whether they were enslaved or not; many southern communities had a disproportionate number of men in the early colonial years and they turned to Native women for sexual relationships. Native Americans resisted Anglo-American encroachment on their lands and maintained cultural ways. Native Americans interacted with enslaved Africans and African Americans on many levels. Over time all the cultures interracted.

Native Americans began slowly to adopt white culture. The five civilized tribes tried to gain power by owning slaves, as they assimilated some other European-American ways. Among the slave-owning families of the Cherokee, 78 percent claimed some white ancestry. The nature of the interactions among the peoples depended upon the historical character of the Native American groups, the enslaved people, and the European slaveholders. Native Americans often assisted runaway slaves.

They also sold Africans to whites, trading them like so many blankets or horses. While Native Americans might treat enslaved people as brutally as Europeans did, most Native American masters rejected the worst features of southern white bondage Chattel Slavery. Mixed-race slaveholders were part of a class hierarchy that seemed related to European ancestry, but their advantage was based on the transfer of social capital from their fathers.

Full bloods sometimes tried harder to maintain traditional ways, including control of land. The more traditional members who did not hold slaves often resented the sale of lands to Anglo-Americans. King Philip's War sometimes called Metacom's War or Metacom's Rebellion, was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day southern New England and English colonists and their Native American allies from — It continued in northern New England primarily on the Maine frontier even after King Philip was killed, until a treaty was signed at Casco Bay in April One in ten soldiers on both sides were wounded or killed.

Upon their loss to the Colonists and the attempted genocide of the Pokanoket Tribe and Royal Line, many managed to flee to the North to continue their fight against the British Massachusetts Bay Colony by joining with the Abanaki Tribes and Wabanaki Federation. Many Native Americans served in the military during the Civil War. By fighting with the whites, Native Americans hoped to gain favor with the prevailing government by supporting the war effort. Parker, a member of the Seneca tribe, created the articles of surrender which General Robert E.

Lee signed at Appomattox Court House on April 9, Parker, who served as Gen. Grant's military secretary and was a trained attorney, was once rejected for Union military service because of his race. Theodore Roosevelt actively encouraged intervention in Cuba. Roosevelt worked with Leonard Wood in convincing the Army to raise an all-volunteer regiment, the 1st U.

The "Rough Riders" was the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry and the only regiment to see action. Recruiters gathered a diverse bunch of men consisting of cowboys, gold or mining prospectors, hunters, gamblers, and Native Americans. There were sixty Native Americans who served as "Rough Riders.

Men of native descent were drafted into the military like other American males. Their fellow soldiers often held them in high esteem, in part since the legend of the tough Native American warrior had become a part of the fabric of American historical legend.

White servicemen sometimes showed a lighthearted respect toward Native American comrades by calling them "chief. The resulting increase in contact with the world outside of the reservation system brought profound changes to Native American culture. Indian commissioner in , "caused the greatest disruption of Native life since the beginning of the reservation era", affecting the habits, views, and economic well-being of tribal members.

Yet there were losses to contend with as well. In addition many more Navajo served as code talkers for the military in the Pacific. The code they made, although cryptologically very simple, was never cracked by the Japanese. Portrait of Native Americans from various bands, tribes, and nations from across "Indian country. Related to Indian activism, the Civil Rights Movement and community development aspects of social programs of the s, the Act recognized the need of Native Americans for self-determination.

It marked the U. California at ,, Arizona at , and Oklahoma at , Native American struggles amid poverty to maintain life on the reservation or in larger society have resulted in a variety of health issues, some related to nutrition and health practices.

The community suffers a disproportionately high rate of alcoholism. Beyond disturbingly high mortality rates, Native Americans also suffer a significantly lower health status and disproportionate rates of disease compared with all other Americans. In the early 21st century, Native American communities remain an enduring fixture on the United States landscape, in the American economy, and in the lives of Native Americans.

Communities have consistently formed governments that administer services like firefighting, natural resource management, and law enforcement. Most Native American communities have established court systems to adjudicate matters related to local ordinances, and most also look to various forms of moral and social authority vested in traditional affiliations within the community. This legislation replaced public housing, and other Housing Act programs directed towards Indian Housing Authorities, with a block grant program directed towards Tribes.

Tribal sovereignty in the United States and Native American tribeThere are federally recognized tribal governments in the United States. These tribes possess the right to form their own government, to enforce laws both civil and criminal , to tax, to establish requirements for membership, to license and regulate activities, to zone and to exclude persons from tribal territories. Limitations on tribal powers of self-government include the same limitations applicable to states; for example, neither tribes nor states have the power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or coin money this includes paper currency.

Federal government's claim to recognize the "sovereignty" of Native American peoples falls short, given that the U. True respect for Native American sovereignty, according to such advocates, would require the United States federal government to deal with Native American peoples in the same manner as any other sovereign nation, handling matters related to relations with Native Americans through the Secretary of State, rather than the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs reports on its website that its "responsibility is the administration and management of 55,, acres , km 2 of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. Federal Government, Canada, or any other non-Native American authority.

As of , the largest tribes in the U. In , eight of ten Americans with Native American ancestry were of mixed blood. It is estimated that by that figure will rise to nine out of ten. The rights and benefits associated with state recognition vary from state to state.

Some tribal nations have been unable to establish their heritage and obtain federal recognition. The Muwekma Ohlone of the San Francisco bay area are pursuing litigation in the federal court system to establish recognition. The recognition confers some benefits, including the right to label arts and crafts as Native American and permission to apply for grants that are specifically reserved for Native Americans. But gaining recognition as a tribe is extremely difficult; to be established as a tribal group, members have to submit extensive genealogical proof of tribal descent.

Concerns which Native peoples struggle to resolve include the presence of Abandoned Uranium Mines on or near their lands. In July the Washington Republican Party adopted a resolution recommending that the federal and legislative branches of the U. House of Representatives to "terminate" the Cherokee Nation. In the state of Virginia, Native Americans face a unique problem. Virginia has no federally recognized tribes. Some analysts attribute this to work by Walter Ashby Plecker, who as registrar of the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics vigorously applied his own interpretation of the one-drop rule.

He served from — In the state's General Assembly passed a law recognizing only two races: Plecker believed that the state's Native Americans had been "mongrelized" by intermarriage with African Americans and, further, that some people with partial black heritage were trying to pass as Native Americans.

To Plecker, anyone with any African heritage had to be classified as colored, regardless of appearance and cultural identification. Plecker pressured local governments into reclassifying all Native Americans in the state as "colored", and gave them lists of family surnames to examine for reclassification based on his interpretation of data and the law. This led to the state's destruction of accurate records related to Native American communities and families.

Sometimes different members of the same family were split by classification as "white" or "colored". There was no place for primary identification as Native American. To achieve federal recognition and its benefits, tribes must prove their continuous existence since The federal government has maintained this requirement, in part because through participation on councils and committees, federally recognized tribes have been adamant about groups' satisfying the same requirements as they did.

Indigenous representatives played a key role in the development of this Declaration. With an overwhelming majority of votes in favor, only 4 negative votes cast Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United States.

The four states that voted against — all with historically oppressed and disenfranchised small indigenous populations far outnumbered by settler populations [] — continued to express serious reservations about the final text of the Declaration as placed before the General Assembly.

Two of the four opposing countries, Australia and New Zealand, have since then changed their vote in favor of the Declaration. The way it stands now is subject to multiple interpretations and doesn't establish a clear universal principle. Most of these are based on the same points as the three other countries' rejections but, in addition, the United States drew attention to the Declaration's failure to provide a clear definition of exactly whom the term "indigenous peoples" is intended to cover.

A discriminatory sign posted above a bar. Perhaps because the most well-known Native Americans live on reservations relatively isolated from major population centers, universities have conducted relatively little public opinion research on attitudes toward them among the general public. In the non-partisan Public Agenda organization conducted a focus group study. Most non-Native Americans admitted they rarely encountered Native Americans in their daily lives.

While sympathetic toward Native Americans and expressing regret over the past, most people had only a vague understanding of the problems facing Native Americans today. For their part, Native Americans told researchers that they believed they continued to face prejudice and mistreatment in the broader society.

Conflicts between the federal government and Native Americans occasionally erupt into violence. Perhaps the more notable late 20th century event was the Wounded Knee incident in small town South Dakota. Federal law enforcement officials and the United States military surrounded the town. The Native American woman activist was killed years after the Wounded Knee standoff, allegedly for having been an FBI informant at the time.

The dispute over the tax, set to go into effect Sept. Americans have had a history of "playing Indian" that dates back to at least the 18th century. Examples are mascot Chief Wahoo and teams such as the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins, considered controversial by some.

Is this not the equivalent to black face? Native Americans have been depicted by American artists in various ways at different historical periods. During the 16th century, the artist John White made watercolors and engravings of the people native to the southeastern states. During the period when White and de Bry were working, when Europeans were first coming into contact with native Americans, Europeans were greatly interested in native American cultures.

A number of 19th and 20th century American and Canadian painters, often motivated by a desire to document and preserve Native culture, specialized in Native American subjects. During the construction of the Capitol building in the early 19th century, the U. The reliefs encapsulate a vision of European—Native American relations that had assumed mythic historical proportions by the 19th century.

The four panels depict: The reliefs present idealized versions of the Europeans and the native Americans, in which the Europeans appear refined and the natives appear ferocious.

The Whig representative of Virginia, Henry A. Wise, voiced a particularly astute summary of how Native Americans would read the messages contained in all four reliefs: During this time there were writers of fiction who were informed about Native American culture and wrote about it with sympathy.

One such writer was Marah Ellis Ryan. In the 20th century, early portrayals of Native Americans in movies and television roles were first depicted by European-Americans dressed in mock traditional attire. Roles of Native Americans were limited and not reflective of Native American culture. In the s some Native Americans roles were improved in movies: In addition to overtly negative depictions, Native people on U.

During the years of the series Bonanza — , no major or secondary Native characters appeared on a consistent basis. The series The Lone Ranger — , Cheyenne — , and Law of the Plainsman — had Native characters who were essentially aides to the central White characters. This characterization was also a feature of later television pilots and shows such as How the West Was Won.

An American Legend , Dances with Wolves employed a number of Native American actors, and made some effort to portray Indigenous languages. The Story of the Pequot War , a television documentary on the first major war between colonists and Native peoples in the Americas.

Perrotta and Charles Clemmons intended to increase public understanding of the significance of this early event. They believed it had significance not only for northeastern Native Peoples and descendants of English and Dutch colonists, but for all Americans today. The producers wanted to make the documentary as historically accurate and as unbiased as possible. They invited a broadly based Advisory Board, and used scholars, Native Americans, and descendants of the colonists to help tell the story.

They elicited personal and often passionate viewpoints from contemporary Americans. The production portrayed the conflict as a struggle between different value systems that included not only the Pequots, but a number of Native American tribes, most of which allied with the English. It not only presents facts, but also seeks to help the viewer better understand the people who fought the War. In , We Shall Remain , a television documentary by Ric Burns and part of the American Experience series, presented a five-episode series "from a Native American perspective": The term Native American was originally introduced in the United States by academics in preference to the older term Indian to distinguish the indigenous peoples of the Americas from the people of India, and to avoid negative stereotypes supposedly associated with the term Indian.

Because of the acceptance of this newer term in academic circles, some academics believe that Indians should be considered as outdated or offensive. Many actual indigenous Americans, however, prefer American Indian. Also, some people point out that anyone born in the United States is, technically, native to America, and that the academic who first promoted Native American confused the term native with indigenous. Martha Gradolf, Hochunk weaver from IndianaCriticism of the neologism Native American , however, comes from diverse sources.

Many American Indians have misgivings about the term Native American. Russell Means, an American Indian activist, opposes the term Native American because he believes it was imposed by the government without the consent of American Indians. He has also argued that this use of the word Indian derives not from a confusion with India but from a Spanish expression En Dio , meaning "in God".

However, very often the compound "Native American" will be capitalized in order to differentiate this intended meaning from others. Likewise, "native" small 'n' can be further qualified by formulations such as "native-born" when the intended meaning is only to indicate place of birth or origin. Native American gamingGambling has become a leading industry.

Casinos operated by many Native American governments in the United States are creating a stream of gambling revenue that some communities are beginning to use as leverage to build diversified economies. Native American communities have waged and prevailed in legal battles to assure recognition of rights to self-determination and to use of natural resources. Some of those rights, known as treaty rights, are enumerated in early treaties signed with the young United States government.

Tribal sovereignty has become a cornerstone of American jurisprudence, and at least on the surface, in national legislative policies. Although many Native American tribes have casinos, the impact of Native American gaming is widely debated. Some tribes, such as the Winnemem Wintu of Redding, California, feel that casinos and their proceeds destroy culture from the inside out.

These tribes refuse to participate in the gambling industry. Demonstrating genetic relationships has proved difficult due to the great linguistic diversity present in North America. The indigenous peoples of North America can be classified as belonging to a number of large cultural areas: Of the surviving languages, Uto-Aztecan has the most speakers 1.

Southwest and northern Mexico with one outlier in the Plains. Another area of considerable diversity appears to have been the Southeast; however, many of these languages became extinct from European contact and as a result they are, for the most part, absent from the historical record.

Hopi woman dressing hair of unmarried girl from Sheep remain an important aspect in Navajo Tradition and Culture. Though cultural features, language, clothing, and customs vary enormously from one tribe to another, there are certain elements which are encountered frequently and shared by many tribes.

Early hunter-gatherer tribes made stone weapons from around 10, years ago; as the age of metallurgy dawned, newer technologies were used and more efficient weapons produced. Prior to contact with Europeans, most tribes used similar weaponry.

The most common implements were the bow and arrow, the war club, and the spear. Quality, material, and design varied widely. Native American use of fire both helped provide and prepare for food and altered the landscape of the continent to help the human population flourish.

Large mammals like mammoths and mastodons were largely extinct by around BC. Native Americans switched to hunting other large game, such as bison. The Great Plains tribes were still hunting the bison when they first encountered the Europeans. The Spanish reintroduction of the horse to North America in the 17th century and Native Americans' learning to use them greatly altered the natives' culture, including changing the way in which they hunted large game.

There were some common characteristics:. Subdivision and differentiation took place between various groups. Upwards of forty stock languages developed in North America, with each independent tribe speaking a dialect of one of those languages. Some functions and attributes of tribes are: The keepers of the articles were seen as tribal dignitaries. Pueblo peoples crafted impressive items associated with their religious ceremonies.