- from Native America
Long ago, America was their land.
For thousands of years, the only people living on this continent were Native Americans. They were descendants of Asians who had crossed a land bridge to the northernmost part of America, then eventually spread south.
Then, beginning in 1492, Europeans came to America. Over the centuries, as a result of wars, policies, and diseases introduced by the newcomers, the Native population declined by 95 percent. Their land was reduced to “Indian country”—reservations and Indian trust lands.
Today, however, the Native population of the United States is growing. Modern Native Americans are made up of many different groups of people, but they all walk in two worlds—the ancient and the contemporary. Collectively, they are Wampanoag, Navajo, Iroquois, and Cherokee—to name just a few of the groups. Individually, modern Native Americans are artists, doctors, and teachers. They’re also spiritual healers and fancy dancers. Their children play basketball and shop at malls, but they also dress in traditional clothing and dance at powwows. Native Americans are eager to share their culture with others. Come learn about Native America—past and present.