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087 Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.

87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
• Cherokee • Apache • Arawak • Crow
• Navajo • Iroquois • Shawnee • Teton
• Sioux • Creek • Mohegan • Hopi
• Chippewa • Blackfeet • Huron • Inuit
• Choctaw • Seminole • Oneida
• Pueblo • Cheyenne • Lakota

The American Indians, also known as Native Americans, were the first people living in North America when the Europeans began to settle (or begin to live there). Although many people think about the American Indians as a homogenous group, or a group of all the same kinds of people, they were actually many smaller groups known as tribes. The tribes had different languages, customs (or ways of doing things), foods, and cultures. Some of them were very large and others were very small. Only a small fraction (or percentage or portion) of the original tribes still exist, because many of them were destroyed by the European settlers.

Today, the U.S. government officially recognizes (or accepts and lists) 563 American Indian tribes. The Cherokee and the Navajo are the two biggest tribes. The
Cherokees’ ancestral lands, or the land that belonged to their relatives many years ago, are in the area that is now the eastern and southeastern parts of the United States, especially where the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are today. But as the United States grew, most of the Cherokee were forced to relocate, or made to live in a new place even though they didn’t want to. The forced relocation is called the Trail of Tears because many Cherokee died while they were going to the new lands further west. Today, about 730,000 Cherokees live in the United States, mostly in the states of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.

The Navajo are the second-biggest tribe of American Indians, with almost 300,000 Navajos living in the United States today. Most of them live in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. In traditional Navajo society, only women could own animals and property (or buildings or land). When people were married, the man moved into the woman’s home and the daughters inherited all the animals and property, meaning that the daughters got those things when the mother died. The Navajo are famous silversmiths, making jewelry and other things out of silver, a metal that is valuable and gray in color. The Navajo are also famous for their weaving, making beautiful red blankets and rugs, which are small carpets or floor coverings.


to settle – to begin living in a place where people had not lived before
* When did Americans begin to settle the state of Idaho?

homogenous – a group of all of the same kinds of people; a group of similar people or things
* Teresa went to a very homogenous high school, where all the students lived in the same neighborhood and planned to go to the same college.

tribe – a group of Native Americans who live together and have the same culture, customs, and language
* Which tribe did the famous Native American guide, Sacajawea, belong to?

fraction – a percentage, portion, or part of something
* Today, we have only a fraction of the forests that we had 500 years ago.

ancestral lands – the land that belonged to one's relatives many years ago
* He was born and raised in New Mexico, but his ancestral lands are in Scotland.

to relocate – to begin to live in a new place, often because one has a new job that requires moving
* When Cord became vice-president, he relocated to Utah, where the company's main offices are.

property – land, buildings, and other things that are owned by a person
* They want to buy some property where they can build their own home.

silversmith – a person who makes jewelry and other things out of silver metal
* Jenna asked a silversmith to fix her broken necklace.

to weave – to make fabrics and other things by crossing colored threads in certain ways to make designs
* Rocio wove a beautiful tablecloth using different color fabrics brought home from her many travels.

rug – a small carpet or floor covering
* We put a rug by the front door so that guests could wipe their feet.