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Native Americans

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Date: 2018
Publisher: Gale, a Cengage Company
Document Type: Topic overview
Length: 621 words
Lexile Measure: 740L

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Navajo Code Talkers The Navajo Code talkers were a group of Native American Marines who invented and used a secret military code during World War II. The Navajo Code talkers were a group of Native American Marines who invented and used a secret military code during World War II. © DOD Photo/Alamy Stock Photo

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Main Ideas

  • Native Americans were the first people to live in North America.
  • They first moved to North America about 14,000 years ago.
  • Many Native Americans died or were killed by Europeans beginning in the 1500s.
  • Native Americans have many interesting cultures.

Native Americans were the first people to live in North America. There are many different groups of Native Americans. They first came to North America thousands of years ago. They have lived there ever since.

The First Native Americans

The first Native Americans came from the continent of Asia about 14,000 years ago. At the time, dry land connected Asia and North America. The Native Americans settled in the North and hunted animals for food. They moved many times to find animals to hunt.

After many years, the Native Americans spread south throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Many continued to hunt animals for food. Others fished for food. Some Native Americans grew crops for food.

Europeans Land in America

Millions of Native Americans lived in North America in the 1500s. At that time, people from Europe started to sail the ocean and arrive in North America. The Europeans met many of the Native Americans. Sometimes, the Native Americans and Europeans were friendly to each other. Many times, however, the Europeans treated the Native Americans badly.

The Europeans killed many Native Americans. The Native Americans fought back, but the European weapons were too strong. Even worse, many Native Americans got deadly diseases from the Europeans. Millions of Native Americans became sick and died from the diseases.

The Europeans took land away from the Native Americans. In many places, Native Americans were forced to move from their homes. They were given new homes in reservations. Reservations are pieces of land set aside by the government for Native Americans to live on.

Many Cultures

Millions of Native Americans still live in North America. Some are very poor. Others have built strong communities in the modern world. Many Native Americans still follow traditional ways of life.

Native Americans have many different cultures. The Inuit live in the far North of Canada and Alaska. Many still hunt and fish for food like their ancestors did. They make clothes out of animal fur to stay warm in the cold weather.

The Iroquois are made up of several Native American tribes. A tribe is a group of people from the same family or community. The Iroquois live in the Northeastern United States and Canada. For many years, the Iroquois were farmers who grew corn, beans, and squash. Today, they work in many different jobs.

The Sioux live in the Midwest in both the United States and Canada. The Sioux often call themselves by their traditional names, the Lakota and Dakota. The Sioux were once great hunters who hunted buffalo on the Great Plains. Today, many Sioux live on reservations in North and South Dakota.

The Navajo people live in the Southwestern United States. They live on a reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. The Navajo Nation Reservation is the largest in the United States. The Navajo still practice many of the traditions of their ancestors. They hold special ceremonies to heal sick people or plant crops.

The Tlingit and the Haida people live in the forests and coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. Most live in Canada, while some live in Southern Alaska. The Tlingit and Haida still hunt and fish for their food. They are famous for building totem poles. These are large wooden poles with pictures carved into them. The pictures have special meaning to the Tlingit and Haida people.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|MMIEQN822291118