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These were complex nomadic cultures based on introduced horse culture and seasonal bison hunting. They carried out resistance against United States incursion in the decades after the end of the Civil War and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in a series of Indian Wars , which were frequent up until the s and continued into the 20th century. Over time, the United States forced a series of treaties and land cessions by the tribes and established reservations for them in many western states.
Indian agents encouraged Native Americans to adopt European-style farming and similar pursuits, but European-American agricultural technology of the time was inadequate for the often dry reservation lands, leading to mass starvation. In , Native Americans who were not already U.
Contemporary Native Americans have a unique relationship with the United States because they may be members of nations, tribes, or bands with sovereignty and treaty rights. Cultural activism since the late s has increased political participation and led to an expansion of efforts to teach and preserve indigenous languages for younger generations and to establish a greater cultural infrastructure: Native Americans have founded independent newspapers and online media, recently including First Nations Experience , the first Native American television channel;  established Native American studies programs, tribal schools, and universities , and museums and language programs; and have increasingly been published as authors in numerous genres.
The terms used to refer to Native Americans have at times been controversial. The ways Native Americans refer to themselves vary by region and generation, with many older Native Americans self-identifying as "Indians" or "American Indians", while younger Native Americans often identify as "Indigenous" or "Aboriginal". By comparison, the indigenous peoples of Canada are generally known as First Nations.
It is not definitively known how or when the Native Americans first settled the Americas and the present-day United States. The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia , a land bridge that connected Siberia to present-day Alaska during the Ice Age , and then spread southward throughout the Americas over the subsequent generations.
Genetic evidence suggests at least three waves of migrants arrived from Asia, with the first occurring at least 15 thousand years ago. The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.
PBS film tackles Native American links to rock, blues, jazz
While technically referring to the era before Christopher Columbus ' voyages of to , in practice the term usually includes the history of American indigenous cultures until they were conquered or significantly influenced by Europeans, even if this happened decades or even centuries after Columbus' initial landing. Native American cultures are not normally included in characterizations of advanced stone age cultures as " Neolithic ," which is a category that more often includes only the cultures in Eurasia, Africa, and other regions. They divided the archaeological record in the Americas into five phases;  see Archaeology of the Americas.
According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living on this continent since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation stories. Other tribes have stories that recount migrations across long tracts of land and a great river, believed to be the Mississippi River. Archeological and linguistic data has enabled scholars to discover some of the migrations within the Americas.
The Clovis culture , a megafauna hunting culture, is primarily identified by the use of fluted spear points. Artifacts from this culture were first excavated in near Clovis, New Mexico. The culture is identified by the distinctive Clovis point , a flaked flint spear-point with a notched flute, by which it was inserted into a shaft.
Dating of Clovis materials has been by association with animal bones and by the use of carbon dating methods. Recent reexaminations of Clovis materials using improved carbon-dating methods produced results of 11, and 10, radiocarbon years B. The Folsom Tradition was characterized by the use of Folsom points as projectile tips and activities known from kill sites, where slaughter and butchering of bison took place.
Linguists, anthropologists, and archaeologists believe their ancestors comprised a separate migration into North America, later than the first Paleo-Indians. They constructed large multi-family dwellings in their villages, which were used seasonally. People did not live there year-round, but for the summer to hunt and fish, and to gather food supplies for the winter. Since the s, archeologists have explored and dated eleven Middle Archaic sites in present-day Louisiana and Florida at which early cultures built complexes with multiple earthwork mounds ; they were societies of hunter-gatherers rather than the settled agriculturalists believed necessary according to the theory of Neolithic Revolution to sustain such large villages over long periods.
The Oshara Tradition people lived from B. Poverty Point culture is a Late Archaic archaeological culture that inhabited the area of the lower Mississippi Valley and surrounding Gulf Coast. The Formative, Classic and post-Classic stages are sometimes incorporated together as the Post-archaic period, which runs from BCE onward. The Hopewell tradition was not a single culture or society, but a widely dispersed set of related populations.
They were connected by a common network of trade routes,   This period is considered a developmental stage without any massive changes in a short period, but instead having a continuous development in stone and bone tools, leather working, textile manufacture, tool production, cultivation, and shelter construction. The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast were of many nations and tribal affiliations, each with distinctive cultural and political identities, but they shared certain beliefs, traditions, and practices, such as the centrality of salmon as a resource and spiritual symbol.
Their gift-giving feast, potlatch , is a highly complex event where people gather in order to commemorate special events. These events include the raising of a Totem pole or the appointment or election of a new chief. The most famous artistic feature of the culture is the Totem pole, with carvings of animals and other characters to commemorate cultural beliefs, legends, and notable events. The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American civilization archeologists date from approximately CE to CE, varying regionally.
The civilization flourished from the southern shores of the Great Lakes at Western New York and Western Pennsylvania in what is now the Eastern Midwest , extending south-southwest into the lower Mississippi Valley and wrapping easterly around the southern foot of the Appalachians barrier range into what is now the Southeastern United States.
Numerous pre-Columbian societies were sedentary, such as the Pueblo peoples , Mandan , Hidatsa and others, and some established large settlements, even cities, such as Cahokia , in what is now Illinois. The Iroquois League of Nations or "People of the Long House" was a politically advanced, democratic society, which is thought by some historians to have influenced the United States Constitution ,   with the Senate passing a resolution to this effect in After , European exploration and colonization of the Americas revolutionized how the Old and New Worlds perceived themselves.
Many of the first major contacts were in Florida and the Gulf coast by Spanish explorers. From the 16th through the 19th centuries, the population of Indians sharply declined. There are a number of documented cases where diseases were deliberately spread among Native Americans as a form of biological warfare.
The most well-known example occurred in , when Sir Jeffery Amherst , Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the British Army , wrote praising the use of smallpox-infected blankets to "extirpate" the Indian race. Blankets infected with smallpox were given to Native Americans besieging Fort Pitt. The effectiveness of the attempt is unclear. Andrew White of the Society of Jesus established a mission in what is now the state of Maryland , and the purpose of the mission, stated through an interpreter to the chief of an Indian tribe there, was "to extend civilization and instruction to his ignorant race, and show them the way to heaven".
Andrew's diaries report that by , a community had been founded which they named St. Mary's, and the Indians were sending their children there "to be educated among the English". The same records report that in , "a school for humanities was opened by our Society in the centre of [Maryland], directed by two of the Fathers; and the native youth, applying themselves assiduously to study, made good progress. Maryland and the recently established school sent two boys to St.
Omer who yielded in abilities to few Europeans, when competing for the honor of being first in their class. So that not gold, nor silver, nor the other products of the earth alone, but men also are gathered from thence to bring those regions, which foreigners have unjustly called ferocious, to a higher state of virtue and cultivation.
Through the midth century the Beaver Wars were fought over the fur trade between the Iroquois and the Hurons , the northern Algonquians , and their French allies. During the war the Iroquois destroyed several large tribal confederacies, including the Huron , Neutral , Erie , Susquehannock , and Shawnee , and became dominant in the region and enlarged their territory.
In , the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula founded Ursuline Academy in New Orleans , which is currently the oldest continuously operating school for girls and the oldest Catholic school in the United States. From the time of its foundation, it offered the first classes for Native American girls, and would later offer classes for female African-American slaves and free women of color. Those involved in the fur trade tended to ally with French forces against British colonial militias.
The British had made fewer allies, but it was joined by some tribes that wanted to prove assimilation and loyalty in support of treaties to preserve their territories. They were often disappointed when such treaties were later overturned. The tribes had their own purposes, using their alliances with the European powers to battle traditional Native enemies.
Some Iroquois who were loyal to the British, and helped them fight in the American Revolution , fled north into Canada. For the next eighty to one hundred years, smallpox and other diseases devastated native populations in the region. Smallpox epidemics in —82 and —38 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 carried from one to the other, both deliberately and by chance, in what is called the Columbian Exchange. Some of the horses escaped and began to breed and increase their numbers in the wild. As Native Americans adopted use of the animals, they began to change their cultures in substantial ways, especially by extending their nomadic ranges for hunting.
The reintroduction of the horse to North America had a profound impact on Native American culture of the Great Plains. King Philip's War , also called Metacom 's War or Metacom's Rebellion, was the last major armed  conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day southern New England and English colonists and their Native American allies from to 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 Some European philosophers considered Native American societies to be truly "natural" and representative of a golden age known to them only in folk history.
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, based both on their trading relationships and hopes that colonial defeat would result in a halt to further colonial expansion onto Native American land. The first native community to sign a treaty with the new United States Government was the Lenape.
In the Sullivan Expedition was carried out during the American Revolutionary War against the British and the four allied nations of the Iroquois. George Washington gave orders that made it clear he wanted the Iroquois threat completely eliminated:. The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.
The 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 or consulting with the Native Americans. The United States was eager to expand, develop farming and settlements in new areas, and 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 and Henry Knox believed that Native Americans were equals but that their society was inferior.
Washington formulated a policy to encourage the "civilizing" process. In the late 18th century, reformers starting with Washington and Knox,  supported educating native children and adults, in efforts to "civilize" or otherwise assimilate Native Americans to the larger society as opposed to relegating them to reservations. The Civilization Fund Act of promoted this civilization policy by providing funding to societies mostly religious who worked on Native American improvement. Two epidemics of measles, one in and the other in , caused many deaths.
The mortality rates were so high that the missions were constantly dependent upon new conversions. As American expansion continued, Native Americans resisted settlers' encroachment in several regions of the new nation and in unorganized territories , from the Northwest to the Southeast, and then in the West, as settlers encountered the Native American tribes of the Great Plains. East of the Mississippi River, an intertribal army led by Tecumseh , a Shawnee chief, fought a number of engagements in the Northwest during the period —12, known as Tecumseh's War. During the War of , Tecumseh's forces allied themselves with the British.
After Tecumseh's death, the British ceased to aid the Native Americans south and west of Upper Canada and American expansion proceeded with little resistance. In the s, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of , a policy of relocating Indians from their homelands to Indian Territory and reservations in surrounding areas to open their lands for non-native settlements. O'Sullivan coined the phrase, " Manifest Destiny ", as the "design of Providence" supporting the territorial expansion of the United States.
Native American nations on the plains in the west continued armed conflicts with the U. Expressing the frontier anti-Indian sentiment, Theodore Roosevelt believed the Indians were destined to vanish under the pressure of white civilization, stating in an lecture:. I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. One of the last and most notable events during the Indian wars was the Wounded Knee Massacre in Army's attempt to subdue the Lakota.
The dance was part of a religious movement founded by the Northern Paiute spiritual leader Wovoka that told of the return of the Messiah to relieve the suffering of Native Americans and promised that if they would live righteous lives and perform the Ghost Dance properly, the European American colonists would vanish, the bison would return, and the living and the dead would be reunited in an Edenic world. At the outbreak of the war, for example, the minority party of the Cherokees gave its allegiance to the Confederacy, while originally the majority party went for the North.
In 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 Treaty of Hopewell of As many as , Native Americans relocated to the West as a result of this Indian removal policy. 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. In , the Cherokee became the first Native Americans recognized as U.
Under Article 8 of the Cherokee treaty, "Upwards of Cherokees Heads of Families in the honest simplicity of their souls, made an election to become American citizens". After the American Civil War, the Civil Rights Act of states, "that all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States".
Grant , ending United States recognition of additional Native American tribes or independent nations, and prohibiting additional treaties. After the Indian wars in the late 19th century, the government established Native American boarding schools , initially run primarily by or affiliated with Christian missionaries. The boarding school experience was a total immersion in modern American society, but it could prove traumatic to children, who were forbidden to speak their native languages.
They were taught Christianity and not allowed to practice their native religions, and in numerous other ways forced to abandon their Native American identities. Before the s, schools on the reservations provided no schooling beyond the sixth grade. To obtain more, boarding school was usually necessary.
The "Indian New Deal" of the s closed many of the boarding schools, and downplayed the assimilationist goals. The Indian Division of the Civilian Conservation Corps operated large-scale construction projects on the reservations, building thousands of new schools and community buildings. The Navajo largely opposed schooling of any sort, but the other tribes accepted the system. There were now high schools on larger reservations, educating not only teenagers but also an adult audience. There were no Indian facilities for higher education. They promoted traditional arts and crafts of the sort that could be conducted on the reservations, such as making jewelry.
The New Deal reformers met significant resistance from parents and teachers, and had mixed results. World War II brought younger Indians in contact with the broader society through military service and work in the munitions industries. The role of schooling was changed to focus on vocational education for jobs in urban America. Since the rise of self-determination for Native Americans, they have generally emphasized education of their children at schools near where they live.
In addition, many federally recognized tribes have taken over operations of such schools and added programs of language retention and revival to strengthen their cultures. Beginning in the s, tribes have also founded colleges at their reservations, controlled, and operated by Native Americans, to educate their young for jobs as well as to pass on their cultures. On August 29, , Ishi , generally considered to have been the last Native American to live most of his life without contact with European-American culture, was discovered near Oroville, California.
Nearly 10, men had enlisted and served, a high number in relation to their population. On June 2, , U. Prior to passage of the act, nearly two-thirds of Native Americans were already U. He was very influential in the Senate. In he ran as the vice-presidential candidate with Herbert Hoover for president, and served from to He was the first person with significant Native American ancestry and the first person with acknowledged non-European ancestry to be elected to either of the highest offices in the land.
American Indians today in the United States have all the rights guaranteed in the U. Constitution , can vote in elections, and run for political office. Controversies remain over how much the federal government has jurisdiction over tribal affairs, sovereignty, and cultural practices. Mid-century, the Indian termination policy and the Indian Relocation Act of marked a new direction for assimilating Native Americans into urban life. The census counted , Indians in and , in , including those on and off reservations in the 48 states. 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. There were also losses as a result of the war. 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. Military service and urban residency contributed to the rise of American Indian activism, particularly after the s and the occupation of Alcatraz Island — by a student Indian group from San Francisco. In the same period, the American Indian Movement AIM was founded in Minneapolis , and chapters were established throughout the country, where American Indians combined spiritual and political activism.
Political protests gained national media attention and the sympathy of the American public. Through the mids, conflicts between governments and Native Americans occasionally erupted into violence. Upset with tribal government and the failures of the federal government to enforce treaty rights, about Oglala Lakota and AIM activists took control of Wounded Knee on February 27, Indian activists from around the country joined them at Pine Ridge, and the occupation became a symbol of rising American Indian identity and power.
Federal law enforcement officials and the national guard cordoned off the town, and the two sides had a standoff for 71 days. During much gunfire, one United States Marshal was wounded and paralyzed. In late April, a Cherokee and local Lakota man were killed by gunfire; the Lakota elders ended the occupation to ensure no more lives were lost. In June , two FBI agents seeking to make an armed robbery arrest at Pine Ridge Reservation were wounded in a firefight, and killed at close range. In , the government enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act.
This gave tribal members most of the protections against abuses by tribal governments that the Bill of Rights accords to all U. It resulted from American Indian activism, the Civil Rights Movement, and community development aspects of President Lyndon Johnson 's social programs of the s. The Act recognized the right and need of Native Americans for self-determination. It marked the U. Tribes have developed organizations to administer their own social, welfare and housing programs, for instance.
Tribal self-determination has created tension with respect to the federal government's historic trust obligation to care for Indians; however, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has never lived up to that responsibility. Tensions immediately arose between two philosophies: There was a great deal of turnover, exacerbated by very tight budgets. Congress passed legislation recognizing the tribal colleges as land-grant colleges , which provided opportunities for large-scale funding.
By the early 21st century, tribal nations had also established numerous language revival programs in their schools. In addition, Native American activism has led major universities across the country to establish Native American studies programs and departments, increasing awareness of the strengths of Indian cultures, providing opportunities for academics, and deepening research on history and cultures in the United States.
Native Americans have entered academia; journalism and media; politics at local, state and federal levels; and public service, for instance, influencing medical research and policy to identify issues related to American Indians. In , an "apology to Native Peoples of the United States" was included in the defense appropriations act. It states that the U. In , jurisdiction over persons who were not tribal members under the Violence Against Women Act was extended to Indian Country. This closed a gap which prevented arrest or prosecution by tribal police or courts of abusive partners of tribal members who were not native or from another tribe.
Many lived in poverty. Racism, unemployment, drugs and gangs were common problems which Indian social service organizations such as the Little Earth housing complex in Minneapolis attempted to address. The Census showed that the U. Together, these two groups totaled 5. According to Office of Management and Budget, "American Indian or Alaska Native" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America including Central America and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
The census permitted respondents to self-identify as being of one or more races. Self-identification dates from the census of ; prior to that the race of the respondent was determined by opinion of the census taker.
Native Americans in the United States - Wikipedia
The option to select more than one race was introduced in The census counted , Indians in , , in and , in , including those on and off reservations in the 48 states. Full-blood individuals are more likely to live on a reservation than mixed-blood individuals. The Navajo , with , full-blood individuals, is the largest tribe if only full-blood individuals are counted; the Navajo are the tribe with the highest proportion of full-blood individuals, The Cherokee have a different history; it is the largest tribe with , individuals, and it has , full-blood individuals.
Many live in poverty. Racism, unemployment, drugs and gangs are common problems which Indian social service organizations such as the Little Earth housing complex in Minneapolis attempt to address. According to United States Census Bureau estimates, a little over one third of the 2,, Native Americans in the United States live in three states: California at ,, Arizona at , and Oklahoma at , Census Bureau estimated that about 0. This population is unevenly distributed across the country. Census Bureau estimated that about less than 1.
This population is unevenly distributed across twenty-six states. They are listed by the proportion of residents citing Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander ancestry, based on estimates:. Below are numbers for U. There are federally recognized tribal governments  in the United States.
These tribes possess the right to form their own governments, to enforce laws both civil and criminal within their lands, 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. In , eight of ten Americans with Native American ancestry were of mixed ancestry.
It is estimated that by that figure will rise to nine out of ten. In addition, there are a number of tribes that are recognized by individual states , but not by the federal government. The rights and benefits associated with state recognition vary from state to state. Some tribal groups have been unable to document the cultural continuity required for federal recognition. The Muwekma Ohlone of the San Francisco bay area are pursuing litigation in the federal court system to establish recognition.
Several tribes in Virginia and North Carolina have gained state recognition. Federal 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 federal recognition as a tribe is extremely difficult; to be established as a tribal group, members have to submit extensive genealogical proof of tribal descent and continuity of the tribe as a culture.
In July , the Washington State Republican Party adopted a resolution recommending that the federal and legislative branches of the U. House of Representatives to "terminate" the Cherokee Nation. As of , various Native Americans are wary of attempts by others to gain control of their reservation lands for natural resources, such as coal and uranium in the West. In the state of Virginia , Native Americans face a unique problem. Until Virginia previously had no federally recognized tribes but the state had recognized eight.
This is related historically to the greater impact of disease and warfare on the Virginia Indian populations, as well as their intermarriage with Europeans and Africans. Some people confused the ancestry with culture, but groups of Virginia Indians maintained their cultural continuity. Most of their early reservations were ended under the pressure of early European settlement. Some historians also note the problems of Virginia Indians in establishing documented continuity of identity, due to the work of Walter Ashby Plecker — As registrar of the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics, he applied his own interpretation of the one-drop rule , enacted in law in as the state's Racial Integrity Act.
It recognized only two races: Plecker, a segregationist , believed that the state's Native Americans had been "mongrelized" by intermarriage with African Americans ; to him, ancestry determined identity, rather than culture. He thought that some people of partial black ancestry were trying to " pass " as Native Americans. 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 families and communities who identified as Native American as in church records and daily life.
By his actions, sometimes different members of the same family were split by being classified as "white" or "colored". He did not allow people to enter their primary identification as Native American in state records. To achieve federal recognition and its benefits, tribes must prove 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.
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 vulnerability to and disproportionately high rate of alcoholism. It has long been recognized that Native Americans are dying of diabetes , alcoholism, tuberculosis , suicide , and other health conditions at shocking rates.
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 a study conducted in —, 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 , mistreatment, and inequality in the broader society. Federal contractors and subcontractors, such as businesses and educational institutions, are legally required to adopt equal opportunity employment and affirmative action measures intended to prevent discrimination against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of "color, religion, sex, or national origin".
However, self-reporting is permitted: Self-reporting opens the door to "box checking" by people who, despite not having a substantial relationship to Native American culture, innocently or fraudulently check the box for Native American. American Indian activists in the United States and Canada have criticized the use of Native American mascots in sports, as perpetuating stereotypes. There has been a steady decline in the number of secondary school and college teams using such names, images, and mascots.
Some tribal team names have been approved by the tribe in question, such as the Seminole Tribe of Florida 's approving use of their name for the teams of Florida State University. Controversy has remained regarding teams such as the NFL 's Washington Redskins , whose name is considered to be a racial slur ,  and MLB 's Cleveland Indians , whose usage of a caricature called Chief Wahoo has also faced protest.
Native Americans have been depicted by American artists in various ways at different periods. A number of 19th- and 20th-century United States and Canadian painters, often motivated by a desire to document and preserve Native culture, specialized in Native American subjects. In the 20th century, early portrayals of Native Americans in movies and television roles were first performed by European Americans dressed in mock traditional attire. Roles of Native Americans were limited and not reflective of Native American culture.
For years, 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 continued in such series as How the West Was Won. These programs resembled the "sympathetic" yet contradictory film Dances With Wolves of , in which, according to Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, the narrative choice was to relate the Lakota story as told through a Euro-American voice, for wider impact among a general audience.
An American Legend , Dances with Wolves employed a number of Native American actors, and made an effort to portray Indigenous languages. 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". It represented "an unprecedented collaboration between Native and non-Native filmmakers and involves Native advisors and scholars at all levels of the project".
Native Americans are often known as Indians or American Indians. The term Native American was introduced in the United States 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 associated with the term Indian.
Many indigenous Americans, however, prefer the term American Indian  and many tribes include the word Indian in their formal title. Criticism of the neologism Native American comes from diverse sources. Russell Means , an American Indian activist, opposed the term Native American because he believed it was imposed by the government without the consent of American Indians.
He has also argued that the use of the word Indian derives not from a confusion with India but from a Spanish expression en Dios meaning "in God"  [ verification needed ] and a near- homophone of the Spanish word for "Indians", indios. Gambling 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 leverage to build diversified economies.
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. Numerous tribes around the country have entered the financial services market including the Otoe-Missouria , Tunica-Biloxi , and the Rosebud Sioux. Because of the challenges involved in starting a financial services business from scratch, many tribes hire outside consultants and vendors to help them launch these businesses and manage the regulatory issues involved.
Similar to the tribal sovereignty debates that occurred when tribes first entered the gaming industry, the tribes, states, and federal government are currently in disagreement regarding who possesses the authority to regulate these e-commerce business entities. Prosecution of serious crime, historically endemic on reservations,   was required by the Major Crimes Act,  18 U.
A December 13, New York Times article about growing gang violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation estimated that there were 39 gangs with 5, members on that reservation alone. As of , a high incidence of rape continued to impact Native American women and Alaskan native women. According to the Department of Justice, 1 in 3 Native women have suffered rape or attempted rape, more than twice the national rate. Bruce Duthu, "More than 80 percent of Indian victims identify their attacker as non-Indian".
Today, other than tribes successfully running casinos, many tribes struggle, as they are often located on reservations isolated from the main economic centers of the country. According to the Census , an estimated , Native Americans reside on reservation land. Social statistics highlight the challenges faced by Native American communities: Find info for dating is a new people. Featured on the usa, and fun sites are the right place.
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Native Americans in the United States
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