North American Indian
An accounting of the history of the North American Indian.
The current scientific facts seem to indicate that North America and South America were not inhabited by men during the time of evolution. It is much more likely that man evolved first and migrated to these areas afterwards. This is the beginning of the North American Indian.
It is believed that these groups migrated to the Americas either by sea or a land bridge that is no longer in existence. Siberia is the area where most of these indigenous people were most likely originated. From there, these people split into various groups forming many separate tribes.
Though most scientists believe that this is where the North American Indian came from, there is still debate about whether this is accurate and the details of such a migration. Studies have shown a link in DNA between Siberians and some modern day Native Americans. There have also been links between the DNA of some west coast Native Americans and an ancient fossil found in Siberia. However, this DNA did not relate to the DNA of other North American tribes.
The most profound impact on the history of the North American Indian is the introduction of the Europeans. This changed the Native Americans permanently and dramatically reduced their numbers. However, it impacted their culture as well.
The first impact of the Europeans on the North American Indian was disease. Diseases wiped out many Native Americans who had no immunity to these foreign illnesses. Disease was a great killer of the Native Americans.
The North American Indian was also forced to adopt new religions and culture. They were taught new languages and were even forced to abandon their old tongues. Many Native Americans were enslaved and others were forced to live differently than they had in the past.
However, the Europeans also brought with them horses and new technologies. In many cases, these new items helped the North American Indian to travel farther, hunt better, and trade with other nations that were previously out of reach. Today, Native Americans are still trying to gain back their identity and find their place among the new world.