Most Historians believe Native Americans came from Siberia across the Bering Strait, which was frozen at the time, and into Alaska; and eventually settled and occupied North and South America. The Native American's or Indians as presumed by Christopher Columbus, consist of many different tribes and cultures.
Contact with Europeans
When Christopher Columbus first made contact with The Native Americans he had no idea he discovered another country and died thinking he had found India instead of North America (later named for Amerigo Vespucci). The Arawaks of the Caribbean islands were the first Indigenous peoples Columbus met. In their early interactions, Columbus mistook Arawak gift-giving as their submission to the Spanish monarchy. As a result, he kidnapped over 2000 Arawaks to be sold into slavery in Spain, and implemented a land ownership system that essentially made the Arawaks remaining in the Caribbean slaves. An Arawak man named Enrique led a fourteen year armed resistance to Spanish incursion onto Arawak lands, arguably the beginning of five centuries of resistance to colonialism.
Early French explorations of mainland North America did not yield much for either explorers or the Indigenous people who met them. These explorations, as well as some inland Spanish incursions, introduced many European diseases into the Americas. The exact population loss due to disease is still unknown, but some estimates place the precontact population of the North America at 18 million, which was utterly decimated by the time of the second major wave of colonialism. This changed the entire indigenous political landscape of the North America when British settlers began to arrive in greater numbers during the 17th century.
Until the conclusion of the War of 1812, the relationship between Native Americans and European settlers was largely one of cooperation. Both indigenous nations and European settlers had something to offer one another; political and economic ties often led to military alliances. These alliances were quite prevalent in the Seven Years War (French and Indian War). However, the utility of military and economic alliances with Indigenous nations fell out of favor with both British North America and the United States, as most major conflicts had ceased, and the fur trade had subsided into a niche market. Both powers gradually moved towards a paternalistic relationship with the Indigenous nations within their colonial borders, largely relegating them to reservations.
Indians in America
Indians have contributed in more than one way to America. Some of the biggest conflicts in recent history have involved many Indian nations acting with their own agenda. The American Revolutionary War saw many nations side with both the British and American armies, and later in The American Civil War Indians fought both alongside the Union Army and the Confederacy.
One of the more notable instances of Indian involvement in global conflicts was the Navajo Wind Talkers of the Second World War. Using a code based off of Navajo language, it allowed the Allied troops to transmit messages without the Japanese deciphering them.
The Iroquois Confederacy consists of six Indian nations. The Confederacy is one of the oldest multi-national political organizations in North America, as it precedes European settlement and continues into contemporary times. Originally recognized by colonial governments merely as tribes, Indian political activism has forced the U.S. and Canada to recognize the nationhood of the Iroquois and many other Indian nations, albeit in a limited sense. Also known as the Haudenosaunee or " People of the Longhouse", or more literally translated as "Those Building the Longhouse". The Confederacy's reservations are a group of reservations situated primarily in New York State and Canada.
In no particular order:
- Tuscarora: the Iroquois were orginally known as the Five Nations, until the Tuscarora joined in 1722