You might have heard “Native Americans”, but do you know which race was called by that name and where did they come from? The Native Americans are indigenous people of the United States. They are also called American Indians, First Americans, and Indigenous Americans. Even today they are called by this name and in fact it is a legal definition of these people in the United States Law. According to the United States Census, there are nearly 574 federally recognized Native Americans. The ancestors of the living Native Americans arrived in the United States at least 15,000 years ago from Asia via Beringia.
Where Did the Native Americans Come From?
DNA of an ancient baby skeleton shows that all Native Americans are descended from a single gene pool. Archeologists say that the bone came from a 12 to an 18-month-old baby boy. It is said that the baby is from Clovis culture. Clovis are prehistoric people who lived in the present-day United States and Northern Mexico about 13,000 years ago. Clovis made a rare type of stone spear point that differs from stone tools. Some researchers say that the Clovis people are the ancestors of present-day Native American tribes.
The indigenous people are usually recognized into two broad groupings- American Indian and Arctic people. The American Indians are categorized by the area of residence- North America (now the United States and Canada), South America, Middle America (Mexico and Central America or Mesoamerica).
Where Did the Clovis Tribe Live?
- A. The U.S and Northern Mexico
- B. The U.S and South Mexico
- C. The U.S and California
- D. None of the Above
Native Americans in the United States
The native Americans earlier were called Indians, during the 1960’s they were called American Indians and later in the 1990s, they were called Native Americans. Native American tribes have frequently conflict with federal laws. Laws protecting endangered species have unintentionally caused problems with the native Americans. Denial of access to sacred sites or possession of animal-derived sacred objects is the main cause of conflict between the federal law and Native American tribes. Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (AIRFA), this law was enacted to protect and preserve the Native American cultural practices and religious rights. This law not only protects Native Americans cultural and traditional practices but also Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians.
What Are All the Problems and Struggles Native Americans Face?
The Native Americans face different challenges even today. Here are some of the challenges that they face socially, economically, and culturally.
- Poverty and unemployment
- Inadequate health care
- Violations of voting right
- Exploitation of natural resources
- Poor education system
- Violence against women and children
- Poor living places