Native Americans in Olden Times for Kids Illustration

Native Americans in Olden Times for Kids

This site explores what we know about Native American life in olden times. 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 as they lived a long time ago. What did they wear? What did they eat? How did they live?  Read the stories of a very clever coyote and a very wise owl. Find out how raven stole crow's potlatch!  Cheer the snow snake games, meet the arrowmaker, interpret secret messages, explore pow-wow etiquette, and learn how to make a medicine man.

Today, there are over 500 federally recognized Native American tribes and nations 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. 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, where they learn about their fascinating traditions and ancient history. Welcome to Native Americans in olden times!

Native Americans in the
United States, Canada, and the Far North in Olden Times

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

Northeast Woodland Tribes and Nations

Southeast Woodland Tribes and Nations

Plains Tribes and Nations

Southwest Tribes and Nations

Northwest Pacific Coastal Tribes

Inland Plateau People

Native Americans of the Far North, Arctic, the Inuit

California Tribes

Stories, Myths, and Legends

Symbol Stories




Religion & Spirit Guides

The Medicine Men 

The First Thanksgiving

The Pow-wow

The Potlatch

Totem Poles

Dream Catchers

Native American Art

Some Principal Tribes

The Indian Wars

Indian Removal, Trail of Tears

Comparison Chart (Europeans & Native Americans in Olden Times)

Games & Things to Make and Do

Festivals and Holidays

Free Lesson Plans for Teachers

Free Classroom Activities for Teachers and Kids


Native Americans in
Mexico, Central & South America in Olden Times

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!


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, identified throughout our site, such as Dr.Peter Bakker (

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 - This link takes you to the list of books we used.

A frequently asked question: What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native? The answer from the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian is: "All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or indigenous American are preferred by many Native people."  Before teaching about Native Americans in Olden Times to your students, especially when your instruction is part of your State Studies, you may wish to check online or by email with the Tribal Council(s) in your state to see what terminology they prefer.

In our free lesson plans and suggested activities for teachers and our free learning modules and games for kids, and with great respect, throughout this site we used specific tribal names as well as the generic term Native Americans. If a Tribal Council disagrees with the terminology we used for their Nation or tribe, please let us know and we will change it. In advance, thank you for your help.