Family: The most
important social unit among the people of the Plateau was the
family. From birth to dead, people took care of their families,
which included extended members like aunts and uncles and second
cousins and elderly relations.
Villages: After their family, their
loyalty was to their village. Each village was independent of other villages.
But people worked in a spirit of cooperation. They shared food and shelter. They
helped each other and teamed up for the betterment of all.
All adults in a village – men and women and newcomers – automatically
enjoyed the rights of citizenship in the village, membership in the general
assembly, voting, holding office, and participating in all activities.
Each village had a Council of elected men and women. Each village also
had its own chief. The position of chief passed from father to son. If no son
was available, a chief would be elected from the villagers. The Council heard
all complaints and discussed solutions to problems. Their ideas or decisions
were brought before the chief.
Decisions on important issues were decided in a general assembly, where all the
village people heard the issue(s) presented by the Chief, and then voted. The vote was final. On smaller
issues, the Council could decide, but the Chief could override.
Division of Labor:
There was a division of labor in a village based on gender. Men had certain
jobs. Women had certain jobs. The men were
responsible for hunting, fishing, warfare, and making tools. The women were
responsible for gathering and preserving wild roots, nuts, vegetables and
berries, cooking meals, child care, and making clothes, mats, and baskets. But
this division of labor was not set in stone. People helped each other. If a man
was injured and could not fish; until he healed, he might help the women make
nets, with much laughter at his attempts to be helpful. If a woman wanted to
make a tool, she could. People took great pride in making life for everyone in
the village safe and pleasant, and all jobs were considered equally important.
Pictures – The Plateau People
Return to the People of the Plateau for Kids (main index)
Native Americans for Kids
Native Americans in US, Canada, and the Far North
Early people of North America (during the ice
age 40,000 years ago)
Northeast Woodland Tribes and Nations
- The Northeast Woodlands include all five great lakes as well as the Finger Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. Come explore the 3 sisters,
longhouses, village life, the League of Nations, sacred trees, snowsnake games, wampum, the
arrowmaker, dream catchers, night messages, the game of sep and more. Special Sections:
The Lenape Indians. Read two
myths: Wise Owl and
The Invisible Warrior.
Southeast Woodland Tribes and Nations
- The Indians of the Southeast were considered members of the Woodland Indians. The
people believed in many deities, and prayed in song and dance
for guidance. Explore the darkening land, battle techniques, clans and marriage, law and order, and
more. Travel the Trail of Tears.
Indians and Cherokee
Plains Indians - What was life like in
what is now the Great Plains region of the United States? Some
tribes wandered the plains in search of foods. Others settled down and grew crops. They spoke different
was the buffalo so important? What different did horses make?
What was coup counting? Who was
Southwest Indians -
Pueblo is not the
name of a tribe. It is a Spanish word for village. The Pueblo People are the decedents of the
Navajo and the
Apache arrived in the southwest in the 1300s. They
both raided the peaceful
Pueblo tribes for food and
other goods. Who were the Devil Dancers? Why are blue stones important? What is a wickiup? Who was
Child of Water?
Pacific Coastal Northwest Indians -
What made some of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes "rich" in ancient times? Why were woven mats so
important? How did totem poles get started? What was life like
in the longhouse? What were money blankets and coppers? How did
the fur trade work? How did
Raven Steal Crow's
Inland Plateau People - About
10,000 years ago, different tribes of Indians settled in the Northwest Inland Plateau region of the
United States and Canada, located between two huge mountain ranges - the Rockies and the Cascades. The
Plateau stretches from BC British Columbia all the way down to nearly Texas. Each village was independent, and each had a
democratic system of government. They were deeply religious and believed spirits could be found
everything - in both living and non-living things. Meet the
California Indians - The Far West was
a land of great diversity. Death Valley and Mount Whitney are the highest and lowest points in the
United States. They are within sight of each other. Tribes living in what would become California were
as different as their landscape.