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Native American Facts for Kids
Resources on American Indians for Children and Teachers

Welcome to Native Languages of the Americas! We are a non-profit organization working to preserve and promote American Indian languages. This "Facts For Kids" section was designed to provide simple online information about American Indians in an easy-to-read question and answer format. We encourage students, especially older kids, to look through our main information on American Indian tribes to get the best feel for the cultures they are studying.



This website may look a little bit boring to you at first glance. There are no animations, no games, no continuously loading flute music, and only a few illustrations. This is important so that our pages can load faster and work for everyone's computers, including the older computers that many American Indian kids use. Native Americans are not extinct. As of the year 2000, there are more than three million Native American people in Canada and the US combined--including more than a million children. Native American kids have real-life hopes and real-life problems, just like other kids do. They may take part in traditional Indian dances, or they may be Britney Spears fans, or both. They probably don't live in tepees, any more than non-native kids live in log cabins. And sometimes, they have to do their homework on the Internet. You are sharing this website with each other. Please be respectful neighbors.

Wado (thank you, in the Cherokee language),
Orrin Lewis and Laura Redish
Native Languages of the Americas


   American Indian Tribes

Fact sheets about American Indians in general

American Indians Kids FAQ
     Questions and answers about Native Americans in the past and present.

Native American Homes
     Pictures and descriptions of ten different types of American Indian houses.

Native American Cradleboards
     Pictures and facts about Native American child carriers in different tribes.

Native American Weapons
     Pictures and descriptions of many different types of American Indian weapons.

Native American Hairstyles
     Pictures and descriptions of traditional hairstyles in many different Native American tribes.

American Indian Clothes
     Photographs of Native American Indian clothing and regalia, including special pages on Indian loincloths and headdresses.

American Indian Food
     A brief introduction to Native Indian hunting, gathering, farming, and fishing techniques, with links to recipes.

Native American State Names
     The Native American origins and meanings of the names of US states.

Algonquian Indian Tribes
     Questions and answers about the Algonquian tribes.

Fact sheets about specific American Indian tribes

Abenakis
     The Abenaki Indians have been native New Englanders for thousands of years,
     but are still looking for recognition from their neighbors.

Alabamas
     The Native Americans who gave their name to the state of Alabama, the Alabamas have merged
     politically with their allies the Coushattas.

Algonquins
     Often confused with other American Indian tribes known as "Algonquians," the Algonquins
     live in the modern Ontario/Quebec area of Canada.

Apaches
     Relatives of the Navajos, the Apache Indians are best-known for their fierce military resistance against
     the Mexicans and Americans, under the leadership of warriors like Geronimo and Cochise.

Apalachees
     Original people of northern Florida, the Apalachee Indians were driven west and
     their descendants live in Louisiana today.

Arapahos
     The Arapaho Indians were originally farming people, but once horses were introduced
     to the Americas, they began to follow the buffalo herds like the Cheyenne and Sioux.

Arikaras
     Devastated by epidemics, the Arikara tribe has merged with their neighbors the Mandans and Hidatsas.

Assiniboines
     Relatives of the Sioux tribes, the Assiniboines were known as big game hunters and expert traders.

Atakapas
     An American Indian tribe of the Gulf Coast, the Atakapas are known today for their contributions to zydeco music.

Atikameks
     The Atikamekw are a small, traditional Native American tribe that still speaks their native language
     and lives off the land.

Beothuks
     The Beothuks or "Red Indians" were the original inhabitants of Newfoundland, Canada.
     Tragically, they died out in the 1800's.

Blackfoot
     Four tribes make up this powerful Plains Indian nation: the Blackfoot (Blackfeet) in
     Montana and the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai in Canada.

Caddos
     Native Americans of Texas and the Southern Plains, the Caddo Indians were
     farming people known for their pottery art.

Cahuillas
     So-called "Mission Indians," the Cahuilla Indians are desert people of Southern California.

Calusas
     Although the Calusa Indians of southern Florida were not agricultural people, they built
     technologically advanced cities with windbreaks, seawalls, piers, and canal systems.

Catawbas
     The Catawba were one of the few southeastern Indian tribes not deported to Oklahoma,
     and they have preserved their native pottery-making traditions among other customs.

Cayugas
     Members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, the Cayuga tribe are Native Americans
     of upstate New York.

Chemehuevi
     Originally an offshoot of the Paiute Indian culture, the Chemehuevis are native people of southern California.

Cherokees
     Original people of the American Southeast, most Cherokees were forcibly deported to
     Oklahoma along the infamous Trail of Tears.

Cheyennes
     Plains Indians who depended on the buffalo for survival, the Cheyennes have survived
     several American massacres.

Chickasaws
     The Chickasaws were one of several Southeast Indian tribes forced to move to Oklahoma
     along the Trail of Tears.

Chinooks
     A Native American tribe of the Pacific Northwest, the Chinook Indians were well-known as expert traders.

Chippewas
     Also known as the Ojibway, Ojibwe, or Ojibwe, the Chippewa tribe are one of the largest
     and most powerful nations.

Chumash
     Native Indians of southern California, the Chumash were fishing people known
     for their unusual plank canoes.

Choctaws
     Despite losing their homes in the infamous Trail of Tears, the Choctaw Indians gave what
     they had to help Irish famine victims in the 1800's, and are still admired by Irish people today.

Cocopas
     The Cocopa or Cocopah Indians are native people of the Sonoran desert.

Coeur d'Alene
     American Indians of the Great Plateau, the Coeur d'Alenes were master fishermen and traders.

Comanches
     Kinfolk of the Shoshone, the Comanche Indians split off from the Shoshones long ago and
     migrated to the Southern Plains.

Coushattas
     Also known as the Koasatis, the Coushattas have merged politically with their allies
     the Alabamas.

Creeks
     Also known as the Muskogees, the Creeks were one of the most important tribes of the
     American southeast, but most of them were forced to relocate to Oklahoma in the 1800's.

Crees
     The Cree are one of the largest native groups in North America and have had a major impact
     on Canadian history.

Crows
     The Crow are a northern Plains tribe, famous for their expert horsemanship and especially long hair.

Cupenos
     One of several California tribes known as "Mission Indians," the Cupeno people made flour and bread from acorns.

Dakotas
     The Dakota tribe are one of the largest and best-known Native American nations of the Great Plains.

Gros Ventres
     The Gros Ventre were kinfolk of the Arapaho, and called themselves A'aninin, the White Clay People.

Haidas
     Native Americans of the Northwest Coast, the Haida tribe is known for their huge seafaring canoes.

Havasupais
     The Havasupai tribe are original people of the Grand Canyon region.

Hidatsas
     Devastated by epidemics, the Hidatsa tribe has merged with their neighbors the Mandans and Arikaras.

Hochunks/Winnebagos
     Unlike other Siouan tribes, the Hochunks never gave up their farming villages in favor of a migratory life.

Hopis
     Known as the Peaceful People, the Hopi Indians were expert farmers and artists.

Hualapais
     Also known as the Walapais, the Hualapais are original people of the Grand Canyon area.

Hurons/Wyandots
     The Wyandots, who lived on both sides of the modern US-Canadian border, were an important trading tribe.

Illini
     The state of Illinois was named after the Illini Indians, who were nearly wiped out by war in the 1700's.

Innus
     The Montagnais and Naskapi have different tribal names but consider themselves part of the same
     Native American culture, the Innu.

Ioways
     Together with their cousins the Otoe and Missouri Native Americans, the Ioways are Plains Indians
     who once hunted the great buffalo herds.

Iroquois
     The powerful Iroquois Confederacy was known for their war prowess, but also for their government, which
     was one of the examples of representative democracy used as a model by America's founding fathers.

Kansas (Kaws)
     The Kansa Indians are the tribe after whom the state of Kansas was named.

Kickapoos
     Fiercely independant, many Kickapoo people fled all the way to Mexico rather than surrender to
     the Americans.

Kiowas
     Plains Indian people, the Kiowa migrated frequently to follow the buffalo herds they depended on.

Kwakiutl
     Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, the Kwakiutl tribe is known for their tall totem poles.

Lakotas
     The Lakota tribe are one of the largest and best-known Native American nations of the Great Plains.

Lenni Lenape
     The Lenape or Delawares are considered by many Indians to be the eldest Algonquian tribe.

Luisenos
     So-called "Mission Indians," the Luiseno tribe made flour and bread from acorns.

Lumbees
     The Lumbees are the descendants of the Carolina Indians who helped the Roanoake Colony.

Makah
     Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, the Makah Indians were well-known as expert whalers.

Maliseets
     The Maliseet people are original residents of the Canadian Maritimes. They are renowned
     for their beadwork and artistry.

Mandans
     The Mandans were primarily farming people, but like other Plains tribes, followed the buffalo
     herds on seasonal hunts.

Maricopas
     American Indians of the Southwest deserts, the Maricopas were agricultural people known for their
     elaborate tattoos.

Menominees
     Original people of Wisconsin, the Menominee tribe is named after their staple food, wild rice.

Miamis
     The Miami Indians lived not in Florida, but in the Midwest: Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.

Miccosukees
     One of the tribes that made up the powerful Seminole alliance, the Miccosukees were
     original people of southern Georgia and northern Florida, but retreated into the Everglades
     when the Americans attacked them.

Micmacs
     The Micmac (or Mi'kmaq) people still live in their original homeland in Nova Scotia today,
     where they are fighting for the right to fish and hunt as their ancestors used to.

Missouris
     Together with their cousins the Ioway and Otoe Native Americans, the Missouria are Plains Indians
     who once hunted the great buffalo herds.

Mojaves
     American Indians of the Southwestern desert, the Mojaves were farming people known for their
     elaborate tattoos.

Mohawks
     Members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, the Mohawk tribe are Native Americans
     of upstate New York.

Mohegans
     Frequently confused with the Mohicans due to a poorly-researched literary classic, the Mohegan
     people consist of many originally independent tribes including the Pequots and Montauks.

Mohicans
     Frequently confused with the Mohegans due to a poorly-researched literary classic, the Mohican
     tribe was not driven to extinction, merely exiled to Wisconsin.

Montauk
     One of many small tribes of Algonquian Native Indians from southern New England.

Munsee
     The Munsee people were original inhabitants of Long Island and New York State, but were
     driven to Wisconsin and Ontario by colonial expansion.

Nanticokes
     The Nanticoke people were known for their sympathy to escaped slaves, many of whom they sheltered.

Narragansett
     One of many small tribes of Algonquian Native Americans from southern New England.

Navajos
     The largest nation of Native Americans in the United States, famous for their beautiful rugs
     and their intricate language which was used as a code in World War II.

Nez Perce
     The Nez Perce were originally a fishing culture, but once they acquired horses, they began
     following the buffalo herds.

Niantic
     One of many small tribes of Algonquian Native Americans from southern New England.

Nipmuc
     One of many small tribes of Algonquian Native Americans from southern New England.

Okanagan
     Interior Salish people, the Okanagans were salmon fishermen and traders.

Omahas
     The Omahas are Plains Indians of the prairie, who once relied on the buffalo herds for food.

Oneidas
     Members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, the Oneida tribe are Native Americans of upstate
     New York.

Onondagas
     Members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, the Onondaga are Native American Indians of upstate
     New York.

Osage
     The Osage are Plains Indians of the prairie, known for their intricate tribal tattoos
     (which only distinguished warriors and their female relatives could wear.)

Otoes
     Together with their cousins the Ioway and Missouri Native Americans, the Otoe are Plains Indians
     who once hunted the great buffalo herds.

Ottawas
     The native nation Canada's capital city was named for, the Ottawas are kinfolk of the Ojibways.

Papagos
     Native people of the American Southwest, the Papago tribe is famous for their beautiful basket art.

Passamaquoddies
     The Passamaquoddy people are original residents of Maine, where they still live today.

Pawnees
     The Pawnee Indians were known as scouts and allies of the Americans.

Penobscot
     The Penobscot people are original residents of Maine, where they still live today.

Pequot
     One of many small tribes of Algonquian Native Americans from southern New England.

Pimas
     Native people of Mexico and the American Southwest, the Pima tribe is famous for their beautiful basket art.

Pocumtuck
     A subtribe of the Mohican American Indians, the Pocumtuc tribe had distinct leadership and
     a unique history.

Poncas
     The Poncas are Plains Indians of the prairie, who once relied on the buffalo herds for food.

Potawatomi
     The Potawatomi were traditionally the fire-keepers in the powerful Three Fires alliance of Indians.

Powhatans
     The Powhatan Confederacy is most famous for being the tribe of the real Pocahontas,
     but they were also a powerful empire controlling most of Virginia.

Pueblos
     Named after their sophisticated adobe housing complexes, the Pueblo Indians are native people of New Mexico.

Quapaw
     The Quapaw Indian tribe were better-known to white Americans as the Akansea,
     and that's where the name of the state Arkansas came from.

Quechan
     Also known as the Yuma, the Quechans are an American Indian culture known for their artistic beadwork and basketry.

Quileute
     The real Quileute Indians are not werewolves, but they do consider wolves their tribal ancestors.

Sac and Fox
     These two Native Indian tribes allied in the 1700's, when the Sac protected their kinfolk the Fox
     from a French attempt to wipe them out. Many still live together today.

Seminoles
     The Seminole Nation was originally a confederation of several different American Indian cultures of
     the Southeast, and were also influenced by the many escaped African slaves who joined them for
     protection. Today the Seminoles are a united tribe.

Senecas
     Members of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, the Seneca are Native American Indians of
     upstate New York.

Shawnees
     The nomadic Shawnee tribe had settlements from New York State to Georgia, but were
     rejoined into one tribe when the US government deported them to Oklahoma together.

Shinnecock
     One of many small tribes of Algonquian Native Americans from southern New England.

Shoshonis
     The Shoshone tribe ranged across a vast territory in the west, and different bands
     had different traditional lifestyles.

Sioux
     The Sioux Indians, who call themselves "Lakota" or "Dakota," are one of the largest and
     best-known Native American tribes of the Great Plains.

Tlingits
     American Indians of the Northwest Coast, the Tlingit tribe is known for their intricate cedar-bark weavings.

Tongva
     Also known as Gabrielinos, the Tongva are American Native people who made flour and bread from acorns.

Tonkawas
     The Tonkawa were originally Native American Indians of Texas, but were forced to move
     to Oklahoma along with many other Texas Indians.

Tuscaroras
     Originally from the American Southeast, the Tuscaroras moved north after the British took over
     to join the powerful Iroquois Confederacy.

Utes
     The Ute Indians are Native Americans of the Great Basin area between the Rocky
     Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

Wabanakis
     The Wabanaki Confederacy was a powerful alliance of east-coast American Indians.

Wampanoag
     The Native Americans who shared in the first Thanksgiving feast, the Wampanoag tribe
     met a sad fate at the hands of the English.

Wappingers
     A subtribe of the Mohican American Indians, the Wappinger tribe had distinct leadership and
     a unique history.

Wichitas
     The Wichita were originally Native Americans of Texas, but were forced to move
     to Oklahoma along with many other Texas Indians.

Wiyots
     The Wiyots are northern California Indians who were tragically massacred during the Gold Rush era.
     Only a few Wiyot descendants remain today, merged with Yurok and Hupa neighbors.

Yakama
     Native Americans of the Great Plateau, the Yakamas were master fishermen and traders.

Yaquis
     Original people of Mexico, many Yaqui Indians fled to what is now Arizona after attacks by early
     Mexican colonists.

Yavapais
     Allies of the Apache, the Yavapai Indian people were known as strong warriors.

Yuchis
     Though the US government considers the Yuchi people part of the Creek tribe, they have always
     been politically independent of the Creeks and have a unique culture all their own.

Yuroks
     Kinfolk of the Wiyot, the two peoples have nearly merged after ethnic violence against them in the 1800's.

Zunis
     American Indians of New Mexico, the Zunis speak a different language and have some different
     customs than the other Pueblos.

Our resource pages about Native Americans

Native American Books
     See our reading list of books (and a few movies) by, for, and about American Indians.

Native American Cultures
     See our original cultures homepage, with a broader selection of Native American links than this one.

Native American Art
     See photographs, history, and links about many different American Indian arts and crafts.

Native American Legends
     Read folklore and traditional stories of American Indians from many tribes.

Native American Picture Dictionaries
     Learn the names of animals in various American Indian languages.

Contact Us
     We answer questions from kids every week!

Recommended Books of Native American information

Atlas of the North American Indian:
     Book of maps showing where Native American people lived in the past and today.
Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes:
     Information about Native American Indian culture and history for kids.
Native American Games and Stories:
     Information on American Indian children's pastimes by two Native authors.
A Native American Encyclopedia:
     Facts about Native Americans in different tribes and regions.
Native Tribes of North America:
     Illustrated reference book on the Native American history and culture.
Encyclopedia of North American Indians: Native American History, Culture, and Life:
     Collection of essays on Native American life in the past and present.
500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians:
     Thorough textbook on Native American Indian history.
Native Americans Today: A Biographical Dictionary:
     Biographies of contemporary Native American people.
Many Nations: An Alphabet of Native America:
     Children's picture book by an Abenaki author, depicting the diversity of Native American culture.
American Indian Children's Books:
     A list of books about Native Americans for kids.

Native American Links For Kids

We have visited all of these websites about American Indian culture and to the best of our knowledge they are informative, respectful, and safe for kids. Please let us know if you find inappropriate material on any of them.

Aboriginal Kids' Stop: Website for kids in Canada features First Nations facts, stories, and activities.
American Indian Children's Games: Online games for kids to play and interesting Native Indian toys for sale.
Native American Kids' Crafts: How to make cornhusk dolls, with illustrations.
Learn About Native American Cultures: Clickable US map with information about the American Indians of each region.
Native American Flags: Pictures of flags used by Native American Indian tribes.
Native American Technology: Traditional arts, crafts, weaponry, and tools, also Native American kid's links.
Native American Children's Literature: Reading recommendations for kids of all ages by the native organization Oyate.
Native American Toys: Photographs of traditional toys and games from several American Indian cultures.
Native American Children: Article by a Gros Ventre woman on traditional native child rearing and family life.
Chiefs and Leaders: Biographies and facts about the Native Americans' political, military, and religious leaders.
Native Celebs: Fan pages, photos, and information about American Indian actors and celebrities.
Canku Ota Stories: Native American website of native myths and legends.
Encyclopedia of North American Indians: Free online articles on many aspects of Native American life .
Native Americans Children's Sites: Indexed information on American Indians for kids and teens.
Native American Kids' Links: List of American Indian websites for children and teachers.
Native Americans Kids Links: List of Native American websites for children, also with resources for parents.
American Indians: Children's Homework Help: Links and information about the Native Americans for kids.


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