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Native American Life on the Great Plains

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traderoute

Trade


For centuries, trade was a major part of the livelihood for Native Americans living on the Great Plains. The Missouri River provided a trade transportation route for Native Americans, European, and American trappers and traders. Agriculture-based tribes traded surplus food to nomadic tribes in exchange for goods, such as animal hides, feathers, and meat. The map above shows the prehistoric trade route between tribes of the Northern Plains.

Fun Fact: The first contact between Northern Plains Indians and Europeans was European commodities, not the Europeans themselves, through a network of trade.

Photo source: Library of Congress

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