Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States. There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the U.S., about half of which are associated with Indian reservations.
The early Native Americans (often referred to as Paleo- or Lithic- Indians) arrived in North America at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia via Beringia land bridge. A vast variety of peoples, societies and cultures subsequently developed.
European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, resulted in a precipitous decline in Native American population because of (1) new diseases to which they had no immunity; (2) wars; (3) ethnic cleansing; and (4) enslavement.
The United States, from its earliest days as part of its policy of settler colonialism, continued to wage war and perpetrated massacres against many Native American peoples. The U.S. removed them from their ancestral lands and subjected Native Americans to one-sided treaties and to discriminatory government policies, later focused on forced assimilation, into the 20th century.
Did You Know?
Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States. 78% live outside reservations, living in small-town or rural areas. California, Arizona and Oklahoma have the largest populations of Native Americans in the United States.
This site was created as a streamlined introduction to North America's Native Americans. Much of the content was condensed from Wikipedia and a few other credited sources and hopes to serve as a learning "gateway" for the curious. Ample further info links and credited source links are provided throughout the site for additional research. Its a fascinating and often neglected topic in American History.
Note: This site will be primarily focused on the Native Americans of North America (specifically what is now continental U.S. and southern Canada).