Indigenous peoples of the Americas

The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European

settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peoples.

Many Indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers and many, especially in the Amazon

basin, still are, but many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture. While some societies depended heavily on

agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming, hunting, and gathering. In some regions, the Indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, states, chiefdoms, states, kingdoms, republics, confederacies, and empires. Some had varying degrees of

knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, writing, physics, medicine, planting and irrigation,

geology, mining, metallurgy, sculpture, and gold smiting.

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The vastly diverse geography of North America is reflected in the diversity among its Native population. From the Inuits of the Northern, sub-Arctic, and Arctic regions to the desert and plains tribes and the legendary Mayan Civilization in the tropical forest areas of Mexico, North America has as many differing Native cultures as any other region.


Many different ethnic and cultural groups made up the original inhabitants of Canada. There are the Inuit and Métis, distinct to Canadian geography, and other groups such as the Huron, Algonquin, and Iroquois whose range compromised both Canada and the future U.S. Many of the Canadian Natives share more in common with United States Natives than they do with those of Central and South America. The Canadian natives were mostly nomadic, living in small bands and subsisting off of hunting and gathering style industries. The first contact with the Europeans was disastrous for the natives. Explorers and traders brought European diseases, such as smallpox, which killed the populations of entire villages. Relations varied between the settlers and the Natives. The French befriended several Algonquin nations, including the Huron peoples and nations of the Wabanaki Confederacy, and entered into a mutually beneficial trading relationship with them. The Iroquois, however, became dedicated opponents of the French, and warfare between the two was unrelenting, especially as the British armed the Iroquois to weaken the French.


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