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American Indian Tribes

This section provides links to questions and answers on Indian tribes from across North America. Each Q&A is written primarily for students, but links for teachers and parents are highlighted at the beginning of each section. Teachers will find additional information about each tribe, their language and culture.

Source: Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and promoting American Indian languages, www.native-languages.org/

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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.

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.

Atikameks
The Atikameks 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 1800s.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 1800s, and are still admired by Irish people today.

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 1800s.

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.

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

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.

Hurons/Wyandots
The Wyandots, who lived on both sides of the modern U.S.-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 1700s.

Innus
The Montagnais and Naskapi have different tribal names but consider themselves part of the same culture, 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 its  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 independent, 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.

Lakota and Dakota 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.

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

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

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.

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 Missouri are Plains Indians who once hunted the great buffalo herds.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sac and Fox  
These two American Indian tribes allied in the 1700s, 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 southeastern tribes, 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 U.S. government deported them to Oklahoma together.

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

Tonkawas  
The Tonkawa were originally Native Americans 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.

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.

Yuchis  
Altough the U.S. 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 1800s.