Published on January 12, 2012 by Amy
Before the Europeans settled in America there were many different Native American tribes that occupied the land. Some of these Natives were nomads and there were many more that stayed in one area. There is said to have been over ten million Native Americans living in North America when the Europeans first came here. It is thought that they migrated here over twenty thousand years ago when the last ice age hit and forced them from their lands. Over time there have been hundreds of different Native American tribes spread throughout North America, and there are only a few that are household names to this day. There were some tribes that were very large and then there were also many small tribes.
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Some of the Native American tribes that most of us know of are Indian tribes such as the Iroquois Indians. The Iroquois Indians lived in the northeast of what is now the United States, primarily throughout New York state and along the St. Lawrence River. The Iroquois Indians consisted of five tribes which were the Seneca, the Cayuga, the Mohawk, the Onandaga, and the Oneida. They were considered to be civilized Native American tribes.
Another well known tribe are the Cherokee Indians, who are believed to be a tribe that broke off from the Iroquois and migrated south into what is now the southeast United States. This is where they originally lived and when the Americans began to settle into the southeast they forced the Cherokees out and many moved to the Oklahoma area. This is recorded in history and known as the Trail of Tears. The Cherokee were very powerful and were also good allies of the Americans; and since they did not want to leave they went to the Supreme Court. The courts agreed and said the Cherokees could stay in their land, and then the American armies led by Andrew Jackson forced them out anyways. They were forced out during the harsh winter and many Native Americans died from this trip, thus giving it the name the Trail of Tears. Many of the Cherokee tribes did not want o leave their lands but many were forced into the territory of Oklahoma but some were able to hide from the Europeans along the Appalachian Trails. Many Cherokee still occupy Oklahoma today.
There were many more Native American tribes and cultures and some of the more well known outside of the east are the Apache who lived in the southwest of America. The southwest was also home to the Navajo Indians, who were one of the largest tribes in the United States.
There were also many tribes in the plains states such as the Comanche Indians, the Kiowa, and the Pawnee. The great lakes region was home to the tribes such as the Chippewa and Wyandot Indians. The last area of the US was the northwest and the tribes that occupied that territory were the Shoshone, the Flathead and the Blackfoot. There are many Native American cultures still strong today and many reservations spread throughout the United States.