The Topic:
American Indians

This project on Native Americans includes tons of resources - - too many to fit onto just this one page! Connect to the project's three other companion pages for lots more ideas and information: (1) Biographies of American Indians - A to Z, (2) American Indian Tribes and Cultures, and (3) Indian Battles, Movements, & Events.
Easier - American Indians, sometimes called Native Americans, are descendants of the first people to live in the Americas. They had been living there for thousands of years before any Europeans arrived.
Harder - When Columbus landed in what is now known as the West Indies, he incorrectly thought he had reached the Indies. He called the native people he met Indians. The Indians of the Americas spoke hundreds of different languages, had many varied ways of life, and each group had its own name. Some lived in large cities and others in small villages. Still others kept moving throughout the year, hunting animals and gathering wild plants.
No people had lived in the Americas before the arrival of Indians. Most scientists believe the first Native Americans came from Asia at least 15,000 years ago. Some think they may have arrived as early as 35,000 years ago. At the time of the first natives, huge ice sheets covered much of the northern half of the earth and much of the earth that is now underwater was dry land. One such area that was dry then but is now submerged is the Bering Strait. People following the animals that they hunted, wandered across this land, a distance of about 50 miles (80 kilometers). Before European arrival, the Indians had spread throughout the New World. Varied tribes and cultures ranged from the Arctic regions of North America to the southern tip of South America.
First Americans by K. Martin (Grades 4-8)
This beautiful site contains information on tribes, history, stereotypes, and suggested classroom activities to provide an overview of Native Americans.
Other Related Websites for Kids:
2) Native American Indian Resources by P. Giese
3) About Native Americans
4) First Americans
5) Native Americans
6) Native Village
7) Study of Native Americans
Index of Native American Resources on the Internet
This is a huge link-site to web resources for many Native American topics: art, culture, language, music,history, health, biographies, and more.
Other Links-Sites:
2) American Indian History and Related Issues by T. Johnson
3) Native American Resources by T. Marks
4) Native Americans
Native American History Archive by the Institute for Learning Technologies of Teachers
College, Columbia University
This website provides access to Native American information and organizations, a forum for student discussions and publication of their project work, and tools for Native American research within the networked classroom.
Related Website:
2) American Indian History as Told by American Indians (Links Site)
Native American Technology and Art
Across this vast Turtle Island, different Peoples develop and express their own complex technology. Types of craft specialization are influenced by the different environments people live in, and by trade and information networks -- these technologies are the product of thousands of years of expertise, oral traditions and continuity.
Other Online Webistes on Native American Life:
2) Native American Shelters
3) Building a Hogan
4) Indian Homes from First Americans
5) Native Pre-Contact Housing
After visiting several of the websites for Native Americans, complete one or more of the following projects:
Complete A Native American Craft Project. (Preschool through Grade 4) The activities found at Native American Crafts for Kids from Enchanted Learning use materials found around the house, like egg cartons, cardboard, paper, boxes, string, crayons, paint, glue, etc.
Complete A Native American WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures and instructions found at one of the following webQuest projects:
1) Amerishame
2) Art for Sale by K. Coates (Grade 5)
3) Exploring Native Americans by J. Ouellette and A. Bisson (Grade 2)
4) Florida Native American by M. Geary
5) Gathering of Cultures by S. Graves and C. Butcher (Grades 8-10)
6) In the Time of the Old Ones by J. Schatz (Grades 3-5)
7) Let's Plan A Powwow by A. Minnick
8) Museum of Native North Americans
9) Native American Cultures by M. Pazdersky
10) Native American Three Sisters Gardens by M. Cunningham, D. McDavitt, and B. Romero
(Grades 4-6)
11) Native American Quest (Grade 3) by C. Scanlon
12) Native American Webpower
13) Native Americans WebQuest by J. Simon
14) 'Nunna daul Tsuny:' The Trail Where They Cried by C. Taylor (Grades 9-11)
Prepare Some Native American Foods. You can find some ideas and help at sites like Native Recipes, Food and Recipes from NativeTech, and Traditional Native American Recipes from the Cooking Post.
Read An Online Native American Story. Nisho, a Potawatomi fable, provides an excellent introduction to Native American culture.
Create A Timeline of Native American History. See if you can improve and expand on the ideas found at Time Line of the Indian History of the Frontier (1860-1900).
Organize An Indian Powwow. First, visit sites like Native American Indian Powwows for the Beginner and Pow wow Etiquette. Then, plan and hold your own Native American powwow event. Be respectful and use this experience to learn more about Native American customs.
Imagine Yourself in a Situation Similar to Native American History. Imagine that you are 'removed' from your home and relocated somewhere else to begin a different life, not unlike what happened to young Cherokees in 1836. Write a story that describes that situation. How would you feel and cope in that situation? An alternative story scenario could be another fictional situation; imagine and write about your life being disrupted by alien invaders from a distant land, who are technologically far-advanced from our earthbound civilization, and have come to further develop and use our geographic resources.
Debate the Issue of Native American Genocide. Visit several of the related websites found below and then debate both sides of the issue.
Write 'A Day In the Life' of a Native American. Visit the companion page: Biographies of Native Americans - A to Z and select one individual. Then write a story that details one particular day in their life. Illustrate your story with your own drawings and artwork.
Longhouse, Tipi, Hogan, or Pueblo? Construct A Model of a Native American Home. Select a specific tribe and learn about the dwellings of that culture. You can select from several different tribes at Native American Tribes and Cultures. You can also find ideas at sites like Native American Shelters, Building a Hogan, Indian Homes from First Americans, and Native Pre-Contact Housing. Build your own model that shows a particular type of Native American housing.
Websites By Kids For Kids
American Indians - Clothing, Face Painting, Games and Ceremonies
(1998 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Here you see and learn about the types of clothing, popular games, ceremonies, painting and more.
Californian Native Americans (1997 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
California was once inhabited by large numbers of indigenous peoples before the Europeans arrived. This site explores the history and lifestyle of the Ohlone tribe, discusses the missions built in the area, and highlights the oppression natives endured at the hands of those who moved into the region.
Exciting World of Native American Novels (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site provides summaries and reviews of books about Native Americans.
Fantastic World of Native Americans (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
The site provides information on American Indians, the various tribes, their customs, their residences, the wars and much much more.
Indian Campaigns
Here you learn about the Indian wars in Ohio.
Indian Legends (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
The site features book summaries and reviews of Native American folk tales that have been passed down from generation to generation and published in picture books.
Native American Arts and Crafts (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Here you can learn about pottery, jewelry, weaving, totem poles, headdresses, hide stories, and basketry. The site describes how the Native Americans made these arts and crafts, what they were made of, and how they were used.
Native Americans (2001 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site provides information on Native American groups and tribes who lived in what is today the Continental United States. Learn how the Indians lived before white man came and changed their world. Included are facts on habitats, homes, dress, food, customs, tools & weapons, art, and more.
North American Indians (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This project provides information on the society and culture of four selected Native American peoples: Navajo, Sioux, Iroquois, and Cherokee.
Southern Native American Pow Wows (2nd Place Award, 1996 ThinkQuest Internet
Join in the celebration! Pow wows are famous for their pageantry of colors and dance which help to make them very exciting events. Learn all about the dance styles and costume regalia, the music, and crafts.
More Websites on Native Americans
Aboriginal Links: Canada and US
This is a very extensive links-site.
Alcohol among Native Americans
Alcohol found its way to the Native American population of North America during early contacts between Native people and European visitors. And, like many other so-called civilizing influences, alcohol altered the Native American existence, culture, and way of life.
Related Websites:
2) Camp Justice Home Page
American Indians and the Natural World from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Through exploration of four different visions of living in and with the natural world--those of the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Lakota of the Plains--North, South, East, West: American Indians and the Natural World examines the belief systems, philosophies, and practical knowledge that guide Indian peoples' interactions with the natural world.
Other Museum Exhibits:
2) American Indians of the Pacific Northwest from the Library of Congress
3) Exhibits Online from National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian
3) First Peoples from Canadian Museum of Civilization
4) Grand Hall - Northwest Coast Native Culture from Canadian Museum of Civilization
Buffalo Hunting from Handbook of Texas
This article summarizes the extermination of buffalo in the 1870s and 1880s.
Related Websites:
2) Where The Buffalo Roamed
Ceremonial Dances
Learn about the symbolism inherent in the dances of the annual Red Earth Celebration (Oklahoma)
Creation/Migration/Origin Stories
Read some creation, migration and origin stories from different Native American groups.
Related Websites:
2) American Indian Creation Myths
3) The Dîné: Origin Myths of the Navaho Indians by A. O'Bryan
4) Hopi Way Story Center
5) Legend of the Chinook Indians
6) Legend of Reelfoot Lake (Chickasaw)
7) Myths and Legends for American Indian Youth
8) Why the Bat has Wings (Cherokee Legend)
First Nations by J.S. Dill.
The website author presents raw data, pertinent data, foundational data on the state of Native America.
Historical & Cultural Significance of the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
The distance across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska's Seward Peninsula is approximately 55 miles, and for several periods during the Pleistocene Ice Ages the trip could have been made entirely on land instead of water.
Related Websites:
2) Arctic Journeys at PBS
3) Who were the first Americans?
Historical Maps of the United States from Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
At this site, you can find maps showing the locations for early Indian tribes.
Related Map Sites:
2) Maps on Native American Nations and History
Indian Fur Trade
This site provides information on the effects of the fur trade on Native Americans between 1804 and 1843.
Indian Removal from PBS
This webpage summarizes the events of 1814 to 1824 that comprised the removal of tribes from the southeastern states.
Related Websites:
2) Cherokee Trail of Tears1838-1839
3) Extract from A. Jackson's Seventh Annual Message to Congress Dec. 7, 1835 from
4) Indian Removal
5) Indian Removal Through Arkansas: A Chronicle, 1830-1849
6) Indian Removal from Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
7) Indian Removal Act of 1830 from Studyworld
8) John G. Burnett’s Story of the Removal of the Cherokees
Native American Indian Resources
This comprehensive website contains information and resources including maps, art, stories, recipes, medicine, games, and much more.
Native American Lore Index
Here you find several links to stories of Native American Indian Lore from different tribes across Turtle Island.
Native American Peoples: A History of Genocide from Baobab Press
In the entire history of colonization, no people has been as systematically mistreated as the American Indian. Worst of all, the problems continue.
Related Websites:
2) American Indian Stereotypes: 500 Years of Hate Crimes© by S.W. Baggs
3) Fort Laramie Treaty, 1868 from PBS
4) Genocide of Native Americans: A Sociological View
5) Hiding Genocide: The National Museum of the American Indian by C. Camp
6) Indians Are Getting Uppity© by I. Choi
7) Native American Genocide
8) Native American Genocide Still Haunts United States by L. Trabich
9) Treaties Made with the North American Indians!
10) Where did All the Indians Go?
Native American Rights
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.
 Native American Spirituality
This brief webpage provides information about the diverse beliefs and spiritual practices of Native Americans.
Related Websites:
2) Indian Religion and Spirituality
3) Why I Am a Pagan by Zitkala-Sa
4) War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality
Native Americans by G.S. Grainger
This links-site has resources indexed to the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
Other Native American Links-Sites:
2) American Indian Links
3) Links to American Indian Resources
Native Americans from The American West
This site's goal is to present a true and accurate information about Native American history, organizations, people, and culture.
North American Indians from the Keystone-Mast Collection
View original photographs of Native Americans and their ceremonies, dwellings, and lifestyles in this historical stereograph collection.
This is the website is an international, nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to disseminating information from and about indigenous nations, peoples, and organizations around the world.
On This Date In North American Indian History by P. Konstantin
This site lists over 3000 historical events which happened to or affected the indigenous peoples of North America.
Plains Indian Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project
This website provides important examples of 19th century Plains Indian drawings on paper. Most of this Ledger Art was completed between 1860 and 1900. Destruction of buffalo herds had ended most of the painting of buffalo hides.
Totem Poles: An Exploration
Here you find all about totem poles.
Related Website:
2) Native American Symbol Totem Animals
Turtle Island Native Network
This is the website of Canada's aboriginal news and information network.
Another Great Canadian Resource:
2) Canadian Indian History
Voices of Wintercount
This site is dedicated to sharing the thoughts, ideas, and words of traditional Native American people. These are original, unedited comments by real people, taking a stand for their way of life.
Websites For Teachers
Environmental Adaption of the Native American Indian by V. Leger
from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
This curriculum unit provides some understanding of Native American cultures and their history to our children.
Other Related Plans from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:
2) Native American Myths: Creation to Death by M.L. Gerencser (Grades 3-5)
3) Native Americans and the Clash of Cultures: Then and Now by P.N. Herndon
(Grades 9-12)
4) Totem Poles of the North American Northwest Coast Indians by M.K. Basti
(Grades 6-8)
Exploring Native Americans Across the Curriculum from Education World
Activities and the Internet sites are provided to help teachers present a balanced portrayal of Native Americans today -- their history, their culture, and their issues.
Native Americans (Grades 1-3)
Here is an online lesson for primary grades that could easily be modified for intermediate. Don't miss Branching Out and Online Activity.
Negotiating Treaties by M. Crosby (Grade 11)
This lesson helps students recognize the interaction between early settlers and indigenous people in the U.S.
Teaching About Thanksgiving
Here is an online guide to respectfully teaching about Thanksgiving.
Related Website:
2) First Thanksgiving Proclamation
3) Thanksgiving Day Celebrates A Massacre
Teaching To and About Native Americans
Here are online guidelines for teaching about Native Americans.
Related Website:
2) Appropriate Methods When Teaching About Native American Peoples from Ableza
Trial of Standing Bear (Grade 8)
In this activity, students are asked to research the case, the lives of people involved, and the historical background which includes Andrew Jackson’s policy of Indian removal, Manifest Destiny, and the Plains Indian War.
Related Website:
2) Understanding Primary Sources: Indian Removal from Houghton Mifflin
Native American
First American
ancient people
aboriginal people
indigenous people
'Old West'
Turtle Island
Lewis & Clark
buffalo soldier
Ghost Dance
mountain men
Little Bighorn
Bering Strait
Battle of the Greasy Grass
fur trapper
hunter gatherer
sacred ceremony
'Trail of Tears'
'three sisters'
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Wounded Knee
Sand Creek Massacre
1868: Treaty of Fort Laramie
Fetterman Massacre
Dawes Act (1887)
American Indian Movement
Vision Quest
trade bead
sweat lodge
buffalo jump
Indian Removal Act
Allotment Act
Indian school
peaceful coexistence
code talker
environmental genocide
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 10/01.