Food: Nearly half
the diet of the people of the Plateau was fish. They also ate
vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat.
There was a wide variety of game including deer and
squirrels. The people of the Plateau used all the parts of any
animal they killed – some parts for food, and other parts to
make clothes and other goods.
The hunt leader (task leader) would choose a hunt team from men in the
village. Once a hunt leader had a team together, he would assign various jobs to
his team members to prepare for the hunt. The hunt leader also directed the hunt
in the field. There could be several hunts going on at the same time.
Within the hunting party, the game killed was shared equally by all
villagers. But the horns and skin belonged to the person who had killed the
Fishing parties were organized when the salmon were running.
But some men were always fishing to
collect food for the village. They used spears, dip nets, bag nets, reef nets
made from wicker baskets, weirs and fences that allowed fish to swim in but not
out. The Plateau Native Americans believed that no one owned the waterways. But they
could own fish stations. A fish station was a great fishing hole, with a frame
that caught a lot of fish. Usually 6-10 related men were the owners of a fish
station. The station was passed down from generation to generation. To remove a
fish from a privately owned fish station needed the permission of one of the
owners. However, custom allowed old men (anyone really) to take fish from any
fish station for each of their 2 meals a day. So the owners of fish stations did
The people of the Plateau did not farm as we understand farming today.
They did not plant and till crops. Instead, they improved the yield of
many naturally growing wild plants by pruning and weeding and burning areas as
needed to encourage healthy, editable plants that anyone could harvest. This was
very effective. It allowed for adequate supplies of roots, berries, nuts and
other naturally growing foods for all the people of the Plateau. Most women
worked the fields near their village, but overlap was common and encouraged.
Nobody owned the fields. Everyone shared the benefits.
The Sharing Ceremony
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.