21 March 2016
By K. H.
1. The U.S. Constitution is partially based upon the Great Law of Peace, the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy.
In 1988, the United States Congress passed a resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois League upon the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
2. Native Americans made the oldest cotton cloth ever found.
Cotton cloth has been unearthed by archaeologists from caves in Mexico which date back as far as 8,000 years ago. Remains of both cotton cloth and cotton bolls were found.
3. The Cherokee, like many tribes, traced their families through the mother. As a result, women often held leadership roles.
Women of great influence became known as “Ghigau,” meaning Beloved Woman, the highest role to which a Cherokee woman could aspire. The name also translates into War Woman and was often awarded to courageous women warriors.
4. Even though most Native Americans live in the west today, the single city with the largest population is New York.
First making their way to North America in the 11th century, archaeological evidence suggests they encountered Native American some 500 years before Columbus arrived.
6. The English language has adopted countless Native American words.
Some examples include: barbecue, cannibal, caribou, chipmunk, chocolate, cougar, hammock, hurricane, mahogany, moose, opossum, potato, skunk, squash, toboggan and woodchuck.
Skip to content7. The 1894 Census Bureau estimated more than 40 “official” Indian Wars in the United States that cost the lives of some 19,000 white and 30,000 Native American men women, and children.
In addition to the official Indian Wars, there were hundreds of skirmishes between the settlers and the Native Americans that resulted when pioneers pushed westward, trespassing upon traditional Native American lands.
8. The first kidnapping in America took place when Italian explorers kidnapped a Native American child to bring to France in July, 1524.
9. The red dye that was the most valuable export from the New World in the 16th century and was used on British uniforms in the Revolutionary War was developed by Native Americans.
The process in which dried cactus-eating insects could be turned into red dye – called cochineal – was developed centuries ago.
10. Some time between 600-1450 AD in Arizona, the Hohokam were constructing one of the most sophisticated irrigation networks ever created using pre-industrial technology.
11. Native Americans cultivated and developed many plants that are very important in the world today, including white and sweet potatoes, corn, beans, tobacco, chocolate, peanuts, cotton, rubber and gum. They also invented popcorn!
12. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, American Indians were remarkably free of serious diseases and rarely died from illness.
However, as Europeans and colonists began to arrive, bringing with them measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, whooping cough, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chicken pox, and small pox. Epidemics over the years killed millions of people.
13. Many old Native American villages, located on waterways and trails, would eventually become trading posts and then small villages as pioneers moved westward.
Today, some are the sites of large cities such as of Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pocatello, Idaho, and countless others.
14. Native Americans were some of the first developers of anesthetics, using coca, peyote, datura and other plants for partial or total loss of sensation or consciousness during surgery.
Immigrant doctors who came to America were unaware of these techniques until the mid-19th century. Before this, they performed surgery after giving the patients alcohol or knocking them out.