Plateau Native Americans in Olden Times
The Plateau area of the United States includes all or part of the non-coastal regions of the modern US States of Washington, Oregon, parts of California and Montana, and the Canadian province of British Columbia. This region extends from the Cascade Mountains east to the Rocky Mountains. Two major river systems, each with many tributaries, run though the Plateau area – the Columbia and the Fraser. The climate varies from cold, wet and forested in the north to cold, dry, and desert-like in the south.
People have lived in the Plateau region for at least 10,000 years. The Plateau offered everything the people needed for thousands of year. They had fresh water, lots of game and fish, and wild berries and nuts and vegetables. They learned to use medicinal plants. They used reeds and hide to make clothes and build homes. Life was good. There were some changes of course. About 4,000 years ago, grinding tools were invented. The bow and arrow was invented in 500 BCE. But mostly, the basic lifestyle remained similar for 10,000 years. (It was not until the introduction of the horse in the early 1700s that change really began.)
The climate dictated much of the culture. The people were semi-nomadic because of their food gathering activities. They gathered salmon and veggies in the summer and hunted game in the fall. They collected roots, berries, and nuts. They had permanent winter quarters, but semi-permanent and temporary summer quarters. They stored food for the cold winter months.
People of the Plateau - Geography
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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: Iroquois Nation, Ojibwa/Chippewa, 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. Meet the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw, Choctaw, Mississippians, Seminole Indians and Cherokee Indians.
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 languages. Why was the buffalo so important? What different did horses make? What was coup counting? Who was Clever Coyote? Meet the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Pawnee, and Sioux Nation.
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 Anasazi People. 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 Potlatch?
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 Nez Perce
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.
Native Americans of the Far North: What trick did the Kutchin people use to catch their enemies? How did these early people stop ghosts from entering their homes? Why was the shaman so powerful? What is a finger mask? Play games! See and hear an old Inuit myth! Enter the mystical world of the people who lived in the far north in olden times. Algonquian/Cree, Athapascan/Kutchin, Central Canada, Inuit, The Shaman
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