Native Americans for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Native Americans
for Kids and Teachers

 
 

Compare the daily life of the first people who settled in the Americas a long time ago. What did they wear? What did they eat? How did they live? Build a totem pole. Weave a dream catcher. Enjoy a potlatch! Make pawpaws. Read the story of a very clever coyote, a very bad raven, and a very wise owl! Cheer the snow snake games, meet the arrowmaker, interpret secret messages and symbol stories, discover why baskets and blankets were so important. Explore pow-wow etiquette, the medicine men, and the butterfly games. Learn what these early people considered wealth and health and protection from spirits. Enter the world of the Iroquois, the Navajo, the Sioux, the Cherokee, the Lenape, the Ojibwa/Chippewa, the Seminoles, the Apache, the Anasazi, the Pueblo people and more!

The first people in the Americas arrived in North America across a frozen sea from Asia over twenty thousand years ago. They spoke many different languages and had many different customs. Some were hunters and gatherers. Some became skilled farmers and clever builders, engineers and weavers. As different as the many tribes were, they all made incredible art, pottery, baskets and blankets. They loved games of skill and of bravery. They created stories and poetry. They taught their kids about their beliefs and culture using games, myths, dance, and impersonation.

Today, there are over 500 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States alone. Tribes are ruled by representative tribal governments. Native Americans today have a variety of jobs, including doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, ministers, writers, artists, and workers of all sorts. But they also hold jobs like tribal leaders. Neat frame houses have replaced former wigwams and tepees. Kids go to public school. Some kids additionally attend tribal school, especially tribal pre-school, where they learn about their traditions and history. Much has been lost, but much has been saved through the hard work of today's tribal leaders.


Native Americans in the US and Canada

Early people of North America
 (during the ice age 40,000 years ago)

Northeast Woodland Tribes and Nations

Southeast Woodland Tribes and Nations

Plains Indians

Southwest Indians

Pacific Coastal Northwest Indians

Inland Plateau People

Native Americans of the Far North, Arctic, the Inuit

California Indians

Stories, Myths, and Legends

Symbol Stories

Baskets

Homes

Canoes

Religion & Spirit Guides

The Medicine Men 

The First Thanksgiving

The Pow-wow

The Potlatch

Totem Poles

Dream Catchers

Native American Art

Some Principal Tribes

Famous Tribal Chiefs

The Indian Wars

Indian Removal, Trail of Tears

Comparison Chart (Europeans & Indians)

Games & Things to Make and Do

Holidays

Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities for Teachers

Free Clip Art for Native Americans

Credits 

Native Americans in
Mexico, Central & South America

The Inca Empire

The Maya Empire

The Aztec Empire

 See also: European Explorers in the New World

 

We thank everyone who awarded this site. It's quite an honor!
We enjoyed writing it, and in the process learning more about Native Americans,
who collectively call themselves "The People"

 

Awesome Library Star Rating

Star Award
Top 1% in K-12 Education

Our thanks to the many people who helped us with this site

Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, WA, for our private tour, and an opportunity to learn a great deal about the early Americas. Thank you!

Dr. Adams. Over the years, Dr. Adams has been a consultant to the Sioux, Winnebago, Fox, and other tribes in the Midwest on community development. He also participated in a federal project for communication and values differences among cultures, resulting in a website - a multicultural toolkit.

Several of our old professors and some new ones

This section could not have been written without the many Native American people who do not wish their names to be listed, who shared information generously with us. We are most grateful for it!

Books we used