The Plateau area of the United States includes all or part of
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 -
Tribes: Plateau Peoples Portal
Return to the People of the Plateau for Kids (main index)
Plateau Neighbors to the West - Northwest
to the East - Plains Indians
Native American Index
- Coast to Coast
Great map of sections of the US for Native Americans
American Games & Activities
Stories, Myths and Legends
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.