An introduction to the native american way of life

Though numbering between 1 and 2 percent of the American population as a whole, the number of those reporting American Indian or Alaska Native heritage rose 39 percent from the census. In this early twenty-first century, Native ways of life are at once endangered and alive and well. They are endangered by the legacy of U. The vast majority of Native American languages are endangered; many have become extinct.

An introduction to the native american way of life

The Work House curriculum is an excellent stand-alone set of activities, and is currently being evaluated as part of the "Indian Education For All" requirements.

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It is important to note that, out of respect for cultural values, Coyote stories may not be told from April through October. None are directly presented in these activities but, if the decision is made to use them, please use them after the first snowfall and stop using them in the spring.

Ideally teachers would do well to confer with local cultural authorities about Coyote story usage. If that is not possible, the following background should help.

It is unclear at this point in history why the name Blackfeet was chosen.

Some historians feel that it is reference to blackened moccasin soles caused by walking through burned over prairie.

Others think moccasin soles were intentionally painted black. By the early nineteenth century the Blackfeet occupied and controlled most of the area from the North Saskatchewan River south to the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, and from the Rocky Mountain Front in the west to the mouth of the Milk River in the east.

They dominated the entire eastern front of what is now Glacier National Park.

An introduction to the native american way of life

The Piegan people formed the southwestern vanguard of the Blackfeet Nation and patrolled the gateways to the plains in an ongoing attempt to prevent the western tribes from using the area and its resources.

The tribes from west of the mountains often used northern passes on their journeys east to hunt the buffalo. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Blackfeet and the western tribes had their most frequent contact, and on occasions armed conflict, in and near these passes.

The Blackfeet are of the Great Plains culture. Some Blackfeet traditions claim that they have always occupied parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana--that they "woke up here".

Other traditions, heavily favored by Anglo anthropologists, preserve an ancient account of The Long-Ago People crossing over from Asia on the Bering Land Bridge as they followed game. Still other sources trace the Blackfeet to Algonquin sources in the northeastern Canadian forests.

According to the latter tradition, the Blackfeet had migrated to the Great Plains long before the arrival of white men and had finished their migration to the Rocky Mountains by the beginning of the eighteenth century. A popular and quite recent theory, supported by archeological, linguistic and genetic arguments, suggests that the Blackfeet may have been a strong presence in the immediate area for a minimum of 5, years.

The dialects of the Blackfeet language belong to the Algonquian family of languages. None of these accounts necessarily contradicts the others -- the Blackfeet have been a strong presence in the area for a long time.

Historically, people of the Plains culture followed a subsistence hunting and gathering cycle. However, since the Blackfeet were almost exclusively dependent upon the buffalo herds for every facet of their livelihood, they were much more nomadic and mobile than their western neighbors.

Though they tended to camp in the same locations at certain times of the year, the Blackfeet seldom constructed permanent lodges of any kind. Though the western tribes relied heavily on seasonally abundant roots and berries, the bulk of the Blackfeet diet consisted of buffalo meat.

Nonetheless, the Blackfeet sometimes traveled to the western valleys to dig for bitterroot and camas where they were much more plentiful than on the dry plains. Plains culture was dependent upon buffalo, limited use of roots and berries, virtually no fishing, no agriculture other than raising tobacco, highly moveable lodges, transportation by travois, either behind dogs or horses, and a highly developed use of buffalo and deer skins in the crafting of clothing, lodges, and other household items.

Heavier items made of wood, stone, and bone were de-emphasized because of the need to travel light. The Blackfeet seldom needed water transportation; when necessary they constructed makeshift rafts to transport items across swollen rivers. Aside from the heavy emphasis upon the buffalo hunt, the search for food was similar to other area tribes.

Blackfeet men did most of the hunting while the women did most of the gathering and processed the harvests of both activities. Blackfeet children learned by doing, by example, and through apprenticeship to their elders. The Blackfeet had to find sheltered river valleys in which to spend the winter.

They enjoyed the long winter evenings when their heritage and culture were transmitted and reinforced around the communal fire.

An introduction to the native american way of life

Blackfeet stories had their heroes and spiritual helpers. Because the Plains culture of the Blackfeet overlapped with the Salishan Plateau culture of the western tribes, their stories influenced each other.

Napi or Old Man is often the protagonist in a story that matches one about Coyote in the Salishan culture. Blackfeet were completely dependent upon the buffalo herds for survival and were very protective of the territory in which the herds ranged.

In order to insure their livelihood, it was necessary to keep other tribes from hunting the buffalo. Consequently, warfare became a way of life. Much of Blackfeet culture centered on becoming a warrior. Patrolling the borders of their territory required many good horses and excellent horsemanship.

Being a warrior involved a great deal of skill raising and handling horses.Native American Cultures Across the U.S. Created October 5, Tools. Email. The Lesson. traditions, and way of life; Understand that Native Americans are made up of diverse peoples and cultures; you may want to go over these words with the students as part of the introduction or as they come up in the lesson.

If possible, obtain and. Native American Culture and Their Environment. Mr. Malone. Oswego Middle School. INTRODUCTION. Over thousands of years, Native Americans living in North America developed different cultures. Culture means ways of life. A person’s or people’s culture is made up of language, religion, clothing, food, the types of homes we live in, and many other things.

Struggle and Survival: Native Ways of Life Today According to the U.S. census, million people identified themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native with just over half saying they were solely American Indian or Alaska Native. Life of Native Americans - Fill in the missing words; Native Americans - Fill in the correct word Choose the missing words.

Downloadable PDF Text- and Worksheets. Text and Worksheets available at our shop. Related Articles. American Revolution. Words. accompany = to go with tribe = a group of people who have the same way of life and. Guns, empires and Indians Photo by Getty Images.

David J Silverman. is professor of history at George Washington University, where he specialises in Native American, Colonial American, and American racial history. These features of Native Americans’ adoption of firearms come into relief through the life of one of the most important.

Life of Native Americans - Fill in the missing words; Native Americans - Fill in the correct word Choose the missing words. Downloadable PDF Text- and Worksheets. Text and Worksheets available at our shop. Related Articles. American Revolution.

Words. accompany = to go with tribe = a group of people who have the same way of life and.

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