AMERICAN INDIANS

The lands of North America were originally occupied by a wide variety of American Indian peoples, each with their own language and culture. Ways of life varied from one region to another, according to the environment—some peoples lived in farming villages, while others hunted buffalo. Their worlds were changed forever by the European invasion.

Table 50. AMERICAN INDIANS

1547 Horses introduced to North America by the Spanish
c. 1570 The Iroquois Confederacy is founded
1626 Manhattan Island is sold to the Dutch
1648 The Iroquois-Huron War
1722 The Tuscarora join the Iroquois Confederacy
1763 Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa, unites tribes against British troops

WHAT WAS THE LEAGUE OF FIVE NATIONS?

Five American Indian nations in the northeast—the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk—made a powerful alliance, called the Iroquois Confederacy. It was founded in about 1570 by a prophet called Deganawida. The League’s goals were cooperation and mutual defense. A council met each year to discuss their laws.

HOW DID PEOPLE IN THE NORTHWEST LIVE?

The northwest (in what is now both the US and Canada) was an area with a large American Indian population. Many peoples there lived by salmon fishing or whaling, and by gathering fruits and berries. They lived in large houses, which were built of red cedar wood. Cedar was also used to make hats, boats, rope, cloth, boxes, and baskets.

WHY DID FARMERS BECOME HUNTERS?

As Europeans invaded the northeast, many American Indian peoples were forced to retreat westward. Some had to give up farming. Instead, they became buffalo hunters on the Great Plains, the grasslands that make up the prairie regions of the central part of the modern United States and Canada.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Free Homework Help Websites
Is helping your child with homework more frustrating and confusing than ever before, thanks to the new Common Core standards? Check out the best free homework help websites to boost kids' success in math, science, English, and more.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Fantastic Fall Apple Desserts
Nothing says fall like the smell of an apple dessert baking in the oven. Use up your family's surplus of apples with our 11 favorite apple dessert recipes.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!