Indians of North America

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Distribution of the Indians and Eskimos of North America according to language families and isolated individual languages ​​when they first came into contact with immigrants from Europe
Proportion of indigenous population groups (Indians, Eskimos and Aleutians ) at the beginning of the 21st century according to national census regions
  • > 80%
  • 61-80%
  • 51-60%

  • 36-50%
  • 26-35%
  • 16-25%

  • 6-15%
  • 1-5%
  • <1%
  • uninhabitable
  • Indigenous territories recognized by the respective states

    ̏ Unrestricted land ownership
    ̏ Autonomous regions (with names)
    ̏▴ Indian reservations (depending on the size of the area that can be represented)
    Ethnic groups with> 10,000 members / majority in a region / very large distribution

    Click here for a large image map with links to the ethnic groups shown
    A North American Indian of the Wolf-Crow tribe, around 1910.

    Indians of North America is the common term used in German-speaking countries for the indigenous peoples of the continent of North America who settle south of the Eskimo peoples of the Arctic. It is a large number of culturally diverse ethnic groups , the diversity of which is evidenced by the sheer number of hundreds of indigenous American languages . There can only be talk of an (additional) cross-tribal ethnic identity “Indians” since the end of the 19th century at the earliest - due to similar experiences in dealing with the intruders.

    Today the Indians of Canada are called First Nations there and those of the United States are called Native Americans or American Indians . 562 tribes are currently recognized in the United States ( 235 in Alaska alone ) and 615 in Canada (or 632 according to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development ). Exceptions are the native inhabitants of Hawaii as well as the Eskimos and Aleutians , who are still differentiated from the North American Indians on the basis of ethnographic theory. Also not counted among the Indians are “mixed” ethnicities such as the Canadian Métis or the Genízaros in the south of the USA.


    A first approach to the variety of Indian cultures carried their initial consideration by the Economic Strategies : There were nomadic living wild and field-gatherers such as the hunting and fishing Athabaskan the Nordic forests or the cultures of the northern Rocky Mountains. Semi-nomadic or semi-sedentary peoples used the seeds, which were occasionally found in large numbers, e.g. B. the anishinabe the wild rice of the Great Lakes, the Californian trunks of acorns or the trunks of the Great Basin pinyon nuts ; or they combined farming and hunting, as many tribes do in the eastern part of what is now the United States. The sea hunters of the north-west coast cultures or the irrigation farmers of the south-west lived completely sedentary . The popular equestrian cultures of the prairies and plains - which provide the starting material for the stereotypically distorted image of Indians in the German-speaking area - only emerged with the introduction of European horses.

    Today only a tiny fraction of the Indians live from their traditional economic methods , some still combine - voluntarily or by necessity - traditional self-sufficiency - with market economy strategies. Most are more or less assimilated into the Euro-American way of life .

    The political situation among the Indian peoples rich (or filed) of egalitarian and nonhierarchical structures with the hunters of the north, over the tribal societies of the prairies, the chiefdoms of the Northwest Coast culture , democratically organized strains with elders, tribal council and council fires as the Iroquois to monarchical organized tribes like the Wampanoag or Powhatan or the theocracies of the Pueblo cultures . The power structures were just as varied, and they are in no way represented by the collective term " chief " (English chief , French sachem or Spanish cacique ). These names were coined by the European conquerors who, for strategic reasons, wanted a contact person for all matters.

    In order to get a rough overview of the diverse ethnic groups of North America (before the conquest), ethnology divides the continent into ten to twelve North American cultural areas .


    Colonization of North America

    Research into the settlement of North America - in contrast to Central and South America - gives a fairly uniform picture. As far as we know today, the settlement took place in three, possibly four waves of immigration: The first wave hit at the end of the last Ice Age around 12,000–11,000 BC. BC from Asia over the Beringia land bridge in today's Bering Strait or in boats along the coast. The first widespread culture was the Clovis culture , which is about the age mentioned. The ancestors of the Na-Dené Indians arrived with the second wave and those of the Eskimos with the third. It is possible that the ancestors of the Algonquin migrated to America in a separate wave between the Clovis and the Na-Dené. Some finds, such as that of the Kennewick man , suggest that other groups from Europe or Oceania may have found their way to America. These waves of immigration also agree with the conclusions of Joseph Greenberg in his book Languages ​​in the Americas , according to which all Indian languages ​​of America can be traced back to three language groups that are not closely related to one another: Amerind , Na-Dené and Eskimo-Aleut .

    In addition to questionable theses, such as those that the Indians descended from the Jewish tribes expelled from Israel (such as John Eliot and Thomas Thorowgood suspected), or that America was settled from Atlantis , there are also better-documented references to pre-Columbian European settlement. It is certain that the Vikings established a settlement in Newfoundland (Canada) around 1000 AD . The thesis that the Welsh Prince Madoc sailed with a group to North America in the 12th century and is said to have settled in what is now the US states of Kentucky , Georgia and Tennessee must be described as purely speculative ; this group is said to have founded the Indian tribe of the Mandan .

    The first settlers encountered large game such as mammoths , mastodons , musk oxen , giant sloths , elk , caribou and bears . They hunted these animals with harpoons , javelins and spear throwers . Possibly it was precisely this hunt for the animals that made a more or less large part of the megafauna extinct (see overkill hypothesis ) . They also collected berries, nuts and wild rice. They caught fish and marine mammals along the coast. Between 13,000 and 9,000 BC The ice receded, leaving behind numerous lakes and rivers that were ideal for fishing and trading routes.

    Cultural development

    Anasazi- Pueblo in Arizona
    Wicker baskets in Sedro-Woolley , around 1920

    The history of the Indians in North America is divided into epochs or periods and these into individual cultures . The first period is that of the Paleo-Indians until about 8000 BC. BC, followed by the Archaic Period .

    From around 1000 BC The development is divided regionally in the south-east and east of North America, the woodland period begins until around the year 1000 or further north in 1200, when the Mississippi culture, in particular in the American bottom , the core area around the Mississippi River in the today's states of Missouri , Illinois and Kentucky , was replaced. Further north on the Great Lakes , the culture of the Oneota emerged at the same time . Both cultures existed until the arrival of the first Europeans and the beginning of historical times. The cultural change caused by the invading Europeans, the population collapse due to imported diseases and the systematic displacement of the indigenous people to the west were created by the Indian peoples, whom the whites encountered during their penetration into the interior of the continent and who shape the image of the Indians to this day.

    In the west and especially in the desert regions of the southwest , after the end of the Archaic Period, a clear delimitation of epochs is not possible, here cultures merge with one another in very different regions and times or alternate with sometimes considerable interruptions in settlement.

    The first large-scale Indian culture in North America was the Clovis culture, named after a site in New Mexico and characterized by its characteristic projectile points . The Clovis people lived around 11,600 BC. BC to 10,700 BC Chr. And were hunters of the Ice Age mega- fauna of mammoths and other large game. Climatic effects and presumably also the hunting pressure caused most large mammals to become extinct, the bison remained as the largest wild animal. The following Folsom culture (approx. 10,700 BC to 8,500 BC) stretched from the Great Lakes across the prairie to the southwest of the United States and was adapted to hunting bison with further developed projectile tips.

    As a result of the climatic changes at the end of the Ice Age, from around 5000 BC onwards, From the south, agriculture was possible in ever larger areas , so that in the following millennia many Indian peoples switched from nomadic hunters and gatherers to sedentary agriculture. The knowledge required for this was partly taken over from Mesoamerica . Native American peoples created advanced civilizations, especially in the southeastern part of what is now the United States.

    The mound-builder cultures ( Adena and Hopewell ) are a specialty of North American cultural history . They lasted from around 1000 BC. Chr. To about 500 n. Chr. And created huge mounds ( mounds ) that emerged from small cemeteries and served during the differentiation of companies and training of forms of rule later for representation purposes. The mound-builder cultures passed into the Mississippi culture , which produced high-class societies.

    Mixing the Cochise and Mogollon cultures around 100 AD in the southwest of the United States, the Anasazi emerged with their clay buildings on or between rock faces. A drought from around 1150 AD probably triggered a migration of peoples and groups of the Nun culture (ancestors of the Paiute and Ute ) as well as groups of the Fremont culture (ancestors of the Diné , Apaches and Yuma ) pushed into the area of ​​the Anasazi. The Anasazi culture passed into the Pueblo culture .

    In the dry prairies of the Great Plains , only the river valleys were permanently inhabited before the horse, which first arrived with the Spanish, was spread. The floodplains offered good conditions for arable farming. In the catchment area of ​​the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers , the Pawnee , Arikara and Mandan or their predecessors can be detected even before European contact .

    Colonial history

    After Christopher Columbus' first trip to America in 1492 , more and more Europeans immigrated to America. Between 1620 and 1770 alone, until just before American independence, the white population in the United States rose from 2,000 to over 2.2 million. This led to land disputes between whites and Indians and to a major change in Indian cultures.

    The European colonial powers behaved differently towards the Indian peoples. This is clear from the example of French and English colonial policy. The French met their friendly Indians with gifts and trade, the English tried to expand their influence in North America thanks to treaties with Indian peoples. Both powers did not hesitate to go to war with hostile Indians when they saw their expansion hindered by Indian peoples.

    Christian missionaries of different faiths moved to America with the first European colonists. They often enforced their beliefs by force. Indians had to give up their traditional beliefs in favor of Christianity. Since religion and culture are inextricably linked, this resulted in deep interventions in the Indian cultures and contributed to the destruction of these cultures.

    Fur trade

    The fur trade between whites and Indians plays an important role in American colonial history. The immigrants had a great need for furs for the domestic market and long-distance trade. Beaver hair in particular was very popular for headgear. The white traders exchanged beaver pelts , otter skins and other types of fur from the Indians or bought them from white trappers. The trappers often advanced into areas previously unknown to the immigrants and thus contributed significantly to the exploration of America. The whites were interested in trading coalitions with Indian tribes not only for economic but also for political reasons, as they needed these alliances in the struggle for colonial supremacy in America. For the Indians, the fur trade brought about significant changes in the distribution of power. Anyone who could secure a good position in the fur trade and thus trade in European goods such as firearms had a clear advantage. The fur trade collapsed in the 19th century. The reasons were the extinction of fur animals in many places in North America and the change in hat fashion in Europe.

    New weapons

    Barter with Indians, copper engraving, 17th century

    After 1492, the European immigrants brought with them various cultural assets that changed the life of the Indians forever. The use of metal points on spears and arrows led to the first shifts of forces among the Indian nations. In the past they had made stone points out of granite or other hard stones. However, regular mass migrations were triggered by the uneven introduction of firearms along the North American east coast and from Hudson Bay . Tribes that received firearms first were often able to drive neighboring tribes completely out of their ancestral areas, which led to real domino effects . Later famous tribes like the Lakota or the Cheyenne were originally settled inhabitants of the eastern woodlands before their neighbors equipped with firearms displaced them. As long as muzzle-loaders were used, firearms had a psychological advantage and a greater range than the bow and arrow, but were far inferior to the bow and arrow in terms of rate of fire.

    As late as 1866, Lakota and Cheyenne, mostly armed with bows and arrows, achieved decisive victories against US troops. In the following year, when the US Army was equipped with repeating rifles, this changed suddenly. The Indians had nothing to counter the ruthless use of industrial killers such as mountain howitzers, Hotchkiss rapid-fire cannons, which fired 100 rounds per minute, and Gatling cannons, an early form of the machine gun.


    Travois of Cheyenne, 1890

    The early Spanish immigrants brought horses with them, which from the 16th century spread rapidly in the southwest and in the Great Plains of North America and were integrated into their culture by many Indian peoples of these regions. Especially for the nomadic peoples of the Great Plains, horses became a central asset ( sacred dogs ). In contrast, Indian peoples in the east, mid-west and south of North America only integrated horses into their culture very late. The historian SC Gwynne points out that the Indian peoples of these regions were never mounted in armed conflicts and that European settlers east of the Mississippi were still a strange idea in the first half of the 19th century.

    Western Indian peoples who integrated horses into their culture were able to significantly enlarge their travois and thus also their tipis , were more mobile and were able to spread into areas that were previously uninhabitable. A large part of the plains, the barren grassland, was only settled after the introduction of the horse. These also made the previously tedious hunt for the bison that lived there much easier. Formerly small and weak tribes like the Comanche , Lakota or Cheyenne became significant power factors in the plains. In particular, Gwynne describes the Comanches' gain in power between around 1625 and 1750 as one of the greatest social and military transformations in history. Originally pushed back by other, culturally more developed Indian peoples to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the area of ​​today's Wyoming, the Comanches succeeded in largely reducing their number and importance after the integration of the horse into their culture ( Kansa , Omaha , Missouri ) or how to force the Apaches, Utes and Osages to retreat.

    Population collapse after contact with whites

    The population numbers of North American Indians before European contact can only be estimated from North American archaeological data and assumptions about ecological carrying capacity . The year 1500 is usually the reference year before contact. The figures presented vary considerably between 2.4 and around 18 million people. Recent archaeological research allows these numbers to be narrowed down, converging at the bottom of earlier estimates.

    The collapse of the Indian population after contact with whites is unanimously described in the literature as appalling, the consequences were the loss of cultural traditions and ways of life, new political connections, large-scale and encompassing population shifts and, finally, the loss of the country. The decisive factor was new infectious diseases to which the Indian peoples showed no resistance. The high population estimates can only be explained if diseases were already far ahead of the advancing whites in the 16th century and depopulated the continent before chroniclers of European descent had the first contact with the respective population groups and registered the losses. The lower estimates are consistent with the assumption that large population losses did not occur until the 17th century and later, and that despite local events in which diseases were spread between peoples outside the area of ​​contact with whites, an essentially irregular process of disease spread took place. Neighboring peoples in the respective area of ​​contact with the advancing whites suffered very different fates, there were rapid collapses, individual recovery phases and further, new waves of illness. This picture coincides with the results of archaeological research. On the other hand, there is no archaeological evidence of large-scale collapses after 1500, but well before the local arrival of the first whites.

    The assumption that around 40% of all Indians of North America, i.e. today's contiguous United States , Canada and the northernmost parts of Mexico , which were influenced by the cultures of the southwestern United States and not Mesoamerica , lived in the Eastern Woodlands , is well proven . Therefore, from archaeological analyzes of the eastern forest lands, taking into account ecological aspects and local special factors, an estimate of between 2.8 and 5.7 million people for North America in the year 1500 can be derived. The large cultures on the middle Mississippi River, in the valley of the Ohio River and in the middle valley of the Illinois River had collapsed by 1400 at the latest. The causes are population migration, wars and climatic changes around the beginning of the Little Ice Age .

    Indian policy

    The Indian policy of the United States and Canada was marked by the desire of the white settlers for land and the consequent submission of the Indians. In 1763, before the founding of the United States of America, the Proclamation Act created a separate Indian territory for the first time , which essentially separated the Indians from the European emigrants. The law divided the land along the Appalachian watershed : the western part was ascribed to the Indians, the eastern part to the whites. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized the American President to relocate the Indians living east of the Mississippi to the west, if necessary by force. In 1834 Oklahoma was officially declared an Indian territory. In the years 1838–1839, around 4,000 of 10,000 Cherokees were relocated from the Ohio River area to Oklahoma. A total of around 50,000 Indians of various tribes from the east were deported to Oklahoma . This led to conflicts with the traditionally resident Indian tribes.

    Native American mother with toddler, 1917

    At the end of the 19th century, European immigrants had subjugated all Indians. Various factors played a role and different means were used: Indian wars , resettlement, an excessive number of white settlers, imported diseases, broken contracts and the targeted extermination of bison as the basis of life for many Indians. The massacre of Wounded Knee in 1890 marked the final victory over the Indians; since then they have lived on reservations and were dependent on the food rations of the whites. With the reservation land, the Indians were left with those areas that the whites ultimately claimed for themselves, mostly inhospitable areas. This contradicted the intention of both Canada and the United States to transform the Indians on the reservations into arable farmers. Due to their now very small land and the fact that the game was very much decimated, the Indians could no longer live as hunters and gatherers, as, for example, the Indians of the Plains had done before the reservation period.

    Even after the subjugation of the Indians, the United States tried to eliminate the so-called "Indian problem", among other things because the food rations cost money. The aim was to erase the cultural peculiarities of all tribes (ethnocide) and to assimilate them into the modern world. The adults were arbitrarily forced to work and the children were separated from their parents and taken to boarding schools. Since traditional religions played a central role in the cohesion of Indian cultures, religious ceremonies (especially the sun dance) were banned in 1883 under threat of prosecution. Various attempts at repressive legislation such as the General Allotment Act , the Indian Reorganization Act and Termination failed one after the other. With the Indian Self Determination Act of 1968, the Indians got some of their rights back. However, their lives are still marked by racial discrimination and poverty .

    Canada passed the Indian Act in 1876 , which would treat the Canadian Indians as wardens of the government. As such, they cannot decide for themselves, but are exempt from all taxes. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs reduced the food rations guaranteed by contract for Indians.

    Until the 1970s, Indian children - in Canada as in the United States - were torn from their families at an early age and put in mostly church boarding schools. There they were not allowed to speak their tribal language and had to accept Christianity. Mental and physical abuse later became public. Young Indian women were sometimes forcibly sterilized.

    In the second half of the 20th century, the Indians gained some rights. For example, in Canada in 1960 they were given federal voting rights. In 1982 the Canadian Parliament passed a constitutional article in which it recognized the traditional rights of the Indians as well as the rights set out in state treaties. Several Indian groups subsequently won victories in court thanks to this article.

    The mission and its consequences

    Mission played an important role in the history of the North American Indians - as with all colonized peoples - since the Christian missionary order was often used by the colonial powers as a justification for their conquest . The missionaries are mainly accused of paternalism (paternalism, seizure of spiritual "domination") and ethnocide (infiltration and erasure of the spiritual basis of traditional cultures ). The first mission attempts were almost all unsuccessful, however, because the Indians were not interested in the idea of ​​a universal religion and conversion . Only significant problems that exceeded people's wealth of experience - such as alcoholism, new epidemics or a drastic social change through contact with the conquerors - opened up opportunities for Christianity. Success then very much depended on the personal skills, cultural empathy and willingness of the respective missionary to integrate. In many cases the church people used indigenous preachers and catechists as helpers. As a result of this practice, the Christian message was in part heavily falsified or adapted to the thoughts of the pagan people (a well-known example is the Lakota Black Elk ).

    The Christian mission has produced various religious forms, ranging from complete Christianization with the integration of some traditional customs (examples: Mi'kmaq , Iñupiat ) to more or less Christian influenced tribal religions (examples: Dogrib , Apaches ) or "double religiosity" ( also compartmentalization , Examples: Pueblo cultures , Oklahoma Creek , James Bay Cree ) to "indigenous forms of Christianity" (→ Indian Shaker Church , Native American Church , nave religion rich).

    Perception in Europe

    Pocahontas on an engraving , 1616

    In Europe, at the beginning of the colonization of America, the North American Indians were viewed as "savages", "barbarians" and "heathens" who were clearly inferior to the Europeans. Indeed, the Europeans were militarily and technologically superior to the Indians. They also felt obliged to Christianize the Indians. This picture came from early reports by European seafarers, but also from voluntary or forced visits by Indians to Europe. Gaspar Corte-Real's team was the first to return to Portugal around 1500 with 50 Beothuk prisoners from what is now Canada. Around the same time, Sebastian Cabot brought the first North American Indians to the English courts as attractions and Jacques Cartier brought the first to the French courts in 1534. The chief's daughter, Pocahontas, played a special role in this , and she was brought to England by John Rolfe in 1619 and passed around as an "Indian princess".

    Towards the end of the 18th century, the European image of the Indians turned into the opposite. The Indians were no longer disparagingly referred to as "savages", but increasingly romanticized as "noble savages". Properties that distinguished the Indians from the Europeans were no longer interpreted negatively, but positively. The Europeans no longer saw the Indians as primitive, lazy and childishly unreasonable, but as undemanding, calm and innocent.

    From the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, this romanticizing image prevailed in European literature, for example in the novels of Karl May and Fritz Steuben . Towards the end of the 20th century, a more nuanced picture gradually began to prevail.

    Indian resistance

    Indigenous people demonstrate in Washington, DC , 2019

    In 1944, Indians of various Indian peoples founded the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), which is considered the first and only Pan-Indian resistance organization. Indian organizations had already emerged earlier, but not all tribes supported them. The NCAI was founded to better protect Indian rights. He saw it as his task to do public relations work in the American population for a better understanding of the Indian culture and situation and to advocate the preservation of traditional cultural values. The NCAI campaigned for the end of the termination and for the strengthening of tribal governments. Already at the end of the Second World War , the NCAI had members from almost all tribes in its ranks.

    Over the years, dissatisfaction increased, especially among the younger members. Many Indians were disappointed with the slow pace of Congress. In 1961, for example, the "National Indian Youth Council" ( NIYC ), which campaigned for Indian nationalism, and in 1968 the " American Indian Movement " ( AIM) split off. The latter movement, which emerged in the cities, made headlines in the late 1960s and early 1970s with its sometimes quite militant actions. In 1969, AIM members, together with Indians of various tribes, occupied the abandoned former prison island of Alcatraz , located in front of San Francisco , in order to set up a center for Indian culture and a museum. After 19 months, the Indians broke off their occupation. In 1971 AIM members took possession of part of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial located in the sacred mountains of the Lakota , the Black Hills , to protest against the numerous broken treaties. A year later they moved with members of other Indian organizations, such as the NIYC, in the Trail of Broken Treaties to Washington DC and occupied the administrative building of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) there for six days . In 1973 the most important action took place: AIM members together with sympathizers occupied the village of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation ( South Dakota ) . This was and is of historical importance for the Lakota living there. Around 200 armed Indians protested against the corrupt tribal government under Richard Wilson . The occupation lasted 71 days.

    The NCAI, for its part, continued its peaceful protest through speeches and pamphlets, but also by supporting local projects and by developing study programs. He continued to gain influence. If in 1970 it united around 2,000 members, by 1978 it was 3,000, representing 154 tribes.

    After the occupation of Wounded Knee, the indigenous protest shifted. Many turned away from militant measures and instead turned to legal opportunities. In 1974 more than 5,000 representatives of 98 Indian ethnic groups founded the "International Indian Treaty Council" ( IITC ), which is now the most important Indian resistance organization. Its aim is to preserve the traditions of the Indians and to gain their right to self-determination. In the same year, representatives of the IITC traveled to Switzerland to initiate the establishment of a human rights organization in the host country of the UN . This is how the Incomindios Switzerland organization came into being , which enables indigenous representatives, among other things, to describe their problems and make their demands at the UN for a week in Geneva every year .

    Further conflicts since the end of the 20th century:

    The situation today

    Constant conflict

    Even in the 21st century, some Indian groups are fighting for their rights (from north to south):

    United States

    Areas in the United States with a predominantly indigenous population:
  • absolute majority
  • relative majority
  • Spread of indigenous peoples in the United States around 1990

    American Indian policy was heavily focused on cultural adjustment and inclusion until the mid-1970s. Later, however, the legal competencies of the reservations and tribal communities were gradually expanded and supplemented by social framework agreements, most recently the Native American Housing and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) of 1996.

    Today the 561 tribal governments are granted extensive legal sovereignty within their territory. They may enact laws and regulations, grant concessions or expel people from their territory in both civil and criminal law. Tribal law, similar to the law of the US states, is only broken by federal law.

    A federal agency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is responsible for the administration of 225,000 km² of tribal land (reservation area), which leaves the land to recognized tribal communities in trust. In addition to tourism and handicrafts, an important source of income for the reservations are, above all, the state-recognized gambling licenses, which attract people from the nearby cities in large droves to the casinos of the Indian reservations.

    The number of recognized Indians is growing rapidly; the proportion of Indians living in cities even faster.

    year native american population of which in cities in percent
    1940 334,000 27,000 8th
    1950 343,000 56,000 16
    1960 524,000 146,000 28
    1970 792,000 356,000 45
    1980 1,354,000 700,000 52

    Today eight out of ten people of Indian descent also have non-Indian ancestors and exclusion and disadvantage are largely a thing of the past. Although their situation has improved significantly over the past few decades, many of them still live in humble circumstances, especially in the big cities. According to statistics, they still suffer more than white Americans from alcoholism, heart problems, diabetes, and other physical and psychological problems that are often associated with poor education and arguably a consequence of the social and cultural uprooting of decades ago.

    Above all, small tribes, some struggling for state recognition, criticize the injustices associated with the gambling industry of the large reservations within American Indian policy.

    In the 2000 census, 2.47 million people said they were Native Americans or Alaskan Indians - 26% more than in 1990. Another 1.6 million said they were partially Native American. The US Indians own around 230,000 km² of land, mostly on reservations. This number is controversial due to land disputes. 85% of Indians live outside of reservations, mostly in cities. The city with the largest number of Native Americans is New York City , with 87,000 Native Americans. According to the 2003 census estimate, one third of all US Indians live in the three states of California , Arizona and Oklahoma .

    The most populous tribes in the United States are (2000 census; only Indians are counted who declared themselves to be part of a single tribe):

    tribe population
    Cherokee 281,069
    Diné (Navajo) 269.202
    Sioux 108.272
    Anishinabe 105.907
    Choctaw 87,349
    Pueblo 59,533
    Apache 57.060
    Lumbee 51,913
    Iroquois 45.212
    Muskogee 20,223

    However, each tribe defines its members differently. For example, members of the Diné tribe must be descended from at least one Diné grandfather or one Diné grandmother. The Cherokee manage their membership a lot easier. To qualify as a Cherokee, you must be able to prove that an ancestor is on the Dawes list. The Dawes List was created from 1898 to 1914 and registered all Indians of the five civilized nations .

    In 2000, eight out of ten Americans with Native American ancestors were half-bred.

    Several smaller tribes are fighting for their recognition as such. In order to be recognized as an Indian tribe, applicants must prove their Indian origins over many generations. This is often difficult or impossible. In the state of Virginia, for example, all non-whites were declared as colored at the beginning of the 20th century , including the Indians. In South Carolina on February 17, 2005, the Pee Dee and Waccamaw received state recognition. Some tribes are only recognized by the state they live in, most by the federal government. In 2007, 595 Indian communities were recognized by the federal government, plus around 70 groups recognized by individual states.

    Ethnic groups

    In 2000 the US Census Bureau found the following figures

    Tribal group Indians and Alaska Natives alone Indians and Alaska Natives alone Indians and Alaska Natives in connection with one or two other ethn. groups Indians and Alaska Natives in connection with one or two other ethn. groups Indians and Alaska Natives alone or in other combinations
    Tribal group a tribal group more than one tribal group a tribal group more than one tribal group
    total 2,423,531 52,425 1,585,396 57,949 4,119,301
    Apache 57.060 7,917 24,947 6,909 96,833
    Blackfoot 27,104 4,358 41,389 12,899 85,750
    Cherokee 281,069 18,793 390.902 38,769 729.533
    Cheyenne 11,191 1,365 4,655 993 18,204
    Chickasaw 20,887 3,014 12,025 2,425 38,351
    Chippewa 105.907 2,730 38,635 2,397 149,669
    Choctaw 87,349 9,552 50.123 11,750 158,774
    Colville 7,833 193 1,308 59 9,393
    Comanche 10.120 1,568 6,120 1,568 19,376
    Cree 2,488 724 3,577 945 7,734
    Creek 40.223 5,495 21,652 3,940 71,310
    Crow 9.117 574 2,812 891 13,394
    Delaware 8,304 602 6,866 569 16,341
    Houma 6,798 79 1,794 42 8,713
    Iroquois 45.212 2,318 29,763 3,529 80,822
    Kiowa 8,559 1,130 2.119 434 12,242
    Latin American. Indians 104,354 1,850 73.042 1,694 180.940
    Lumbee 51,913 642 4,934 379 57,868
    Menominee 7,883 258 1,551 148 9,840
    Navajo 269.202 6,789 19,491 2,715 298.197
    Osage 7,658 1,354 5,491 1,394 15,897
    Ottawa 6,432 623 3,174 448 10,677
    Paiute 9,705 1,163 2,315 349 13,532
    Pima 8,519 999 1,741 234 11,493
    Potawatomi 15,817 592 8,602 584 25,595
    Pueblo 59,533 3,527 9,943 1,082 74,085
    Coastal Salish 11,034 226 3.212 159 14,631
    Seminoles 12,431 2,982 9,505 2,513 27,431
    Shoshone 7,739 714 3,039 534 12,026
    Sioux 108.272 4,794 35.179 5.115 153,360
    Tohono O'odham 17,466 714 1,748 159 20,087
    Ute 7,309 715 1,944 417 10,385
    Yakama 8,481 561 1,619 190 10,851
    Yaqui 15,224 1,245 5,184 759 22,412
    Yuman 7,295 526 1,051 104 8,976
    other 240,521 9,468 100,346 7,323 357,658
    unspecified Indians 109,644 57 86.173 28 195.902
    Alaska Athabascan 14,520 815 3,218 285 18,838
    Aleutian Islands 11,941 832 3,850 355 16,978
    Eskimos 45,919 1,418 6,919 505 54,761
    Tlingit - Haida 14,825 1,059 6,047 434 22,365
    other Alaska Native tribes 2,552 435 841 145 3,973
    unspecified Alaska Native tribes 6.161 370 2,053 118 8,702
    unspecified Indians or Alaska Native tribes 511.960 (X) 544.497 (X) 1,056,457


    In 1897 funds were set up, into which the proceeds from the economic use or exploitation (raw materials) of Indian areas flowed. In 2009, the US administration under President Obama awarded around 300,000 Indians compensation of around 3.4 billion dollars. This involved a class action lawsuit filed in 1996 that accused the government of cheating the Indians out of billions in payments from trust funds.

    In April 2012, the US government announced that it would compensate the indigenous people of the country with around one billion dollars (around 780 million euros at the time). The money will benefit 41 Indian tribes. This was preceded by a litigation that lasted almost two years. The indigenous people had accused the government of mismanagement in the administration of tribal money and the income from the use of their areas, for example from the oil and gas business or grazing rights. Some of the lawsuits go back more than 100 years. Negotiations are still ongoing in other cases. With the settlement, historical legal disputes were resolved fairly and honorably, said Justice Minister Eric Holder . A joint statement by the Ministry of Justice and the Interior Ministry speaks of a milestone in improving relations with the indigenous people.

    Life in reservations

    Indian reservations in the United States

    Life on US reservations is characterized by poverty. Unemployment is high, healthcare is poor and alcoholism is widespread. In the recent past the situation has improved considerably in those reservations that have made millions with their own casinos . Other tribes reject casinos, arguing that they destroy their culture.

    Between 1990 and 2000, the income of the reserve population increased by 30%, while that of the rest of the population increased by 10%. The average household income even rose by 35 to 40% (4%), and the number of children below the poverty line fell from 50 to 40% (18 and 17, respectively). In addition, there was a significant increase in the number of jobs in the reserves, to a large extent in companies run by the respective tribe.

    In Canada, lived 1996 400.000 Indians in reserves (Reserves) . Their unemployment was 28.7%; for the general Canadian population, however, it was 10.1%. Around two-thirds of Canada's reserves are in remote areas, with almost no work opportunities, both within the reserves and in the surrounding regions. Average life expectancy in the reserves in 1996 was more than six years lower than in all of Canada. The situation was similar for tuberculosis diseases: In the reservations, there were 34 cases of tuberculosis for every 100,000 people in 2000, in Canada only 5. Suicides and diseases related to alcohol and drug use were also more common. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be sold in many reservations.

    Life in urban areas

    Due to the termination policy after the Second World War, the Indian population in the cities increased by leaps and bounds. In 1970 44.6% of all registered Indians lived in cities, by 1990 it was already 54%. The most preferred cities were, on the one hand, giant cities like Los Angeles with 30,000 Indians, San Francisco with 20,000 and Chicago with 8,000, on the other hand, smaller cities near the reservations such as Tulsa , Oklahoma City , Phoenix , Tucson , Albuquerque , Seattle , Minneapolis and Buffalo .

    The US government-sponsored urban resettlement was officially designed to reduce the unemployment rate on the reservations. This goal was nowhere near achieved. On the other hand, the unemployment rate of the Indian population in the cities has decreased. Between 1950 and 1970 it fell from 15.1 to 9.4%. This went hand in hand with an improvement in training. The wage level in the cities was higher than in the reserves. This difference only widened over the years. In 1949, the median income of reservation Indians was around 80% of that of urban Indians. Twenty years later this ratio was 57%. The income of the urban Indians was thus roughly on a par with that of the African Americans . The mortality rate is also lower than in the reserves, mainly thanks to better health care. However, alcohol consumption is stronger, although it is already a major problem in the reserves. The lower number of children per woman in the cities is also striking. While a woman on the reservations had an average of 5.3 children around 1980, there were only 3.7 children in the city at the same time.

    Not all Indians get along equally well with the white world. At the beginning of the termination policy, around three quarters of all resettlers returned to the reserves, later only around half. Mainly personal and economic reasons speak in favor of returning.

    Although urban Indians are just as destitute as the blacks living in ghettos , there are no actual Indian ghettos . Rather, the Indians live all over the city, as in Seattle, or are located in an area in the heart of the city, as is the case in Minneapolis. The Indian quarter there is known as the Red Ghetto , but it cannot be compared with the black ghettos, which are mostly located on the outskirts. Regardless of how the Indians are distributed in the cities, the vast majority of urban Indians have in common that they live in poorer neighborhoods. For example, 19% of all urban Indians live in overcrowded apartments, compared to only 7% of the total US population.


    In Canada, the Indian peoples are known as First Nations . They do not include the Inuit , whose language, the Inuktitut, with 29,000 speakers, is one of the larger groups. In their territory of Nunavut , Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are official languages ​​alongside English and French. The Inuvialuit and Métis groups are also not First Nations. In the coat of arms of Newfoundland and Labrador , two Beothuk Indians are depicted as shield holders .

    The 2001 census showed a number of around 900,000 Canadian Indians , including around 600,000 Indians, 290,000 Métis and 45,000 Inuit. The Canadian indigenous people speak more than 50 languages. The First Nations are divided into 612 recognized groups, 190 of them in British Columbia alone , plus many groups that are not recognized. The most common languages ​​are Anishinabe and Cree , which are spoken by 150,000 people. This is followed by the Mi'kmaq with around 8,500. There are nine official indigenous languages in the Northwest Territories : Dene Suline , Cree, Gwich'in , Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun , Northern Slavey , Southern Slavey, and Taicho .

    Since the proportion of Indians who have a university degree is much lower than that of other groups of the population, they established the First Nations University of Canada in Regina , Saskatchewan, in 2000 .

    Traditional culture

    When Christopher Columbus traveled to America, there were around 500 Indian ethnic groups with around 175 different languages ​​in what is now the United States. Some of them lived as very small hunter-gatherers groups, others as highly developed agricultural nations , which, however, cannot be compared with the size of European states. At the time of their zenith, their size rarely exceeded 60,000 people. Most of the groups were only a few hundred. In the 16th century there was a noticeable tendency towards larger political units. Nevertheless, there were always splits. The respective authoritarian leader depended on the respect shown to them. The members of a tribe could not be compelled to stay. In the event of disagreement, they left their group to either join another group or to form their own group. This system strengthened the leader's sense of responsibility towards his people.

    Most of the North American Indian tribes had their gender roles clearly demarcated from one another . Agriculture and the gathering of berries and roots were mostly the woman's job, while hunting and war were the man's roles. Some tribes were matrilineal , others patrilinear . Known and accepted by many tribes were the " two spirit people" who slipped into the role of the opposite sex, wore their clothes and did their jobs. Two-soul people were often said to have above-average mental powers, were highly respected and not infrequently worked as shamans .

    Some cultural elements were common throughout the continent: Many Indians believed in animal spirits , in visionary fasting and in the myth that America was built on the back of a turtle .

    Medicine man Little Big Mouth in front of his teepee in Oklahoma

    More important than the similarities are the cultural differences. North America is generally divided into ten cultural areas. The Eskimos and Aleutians who lived in the Arctic (Alaska and Greenland) lived in huts made of stone and wood. They only built igloos when they were traveling . Almost all of present-day Canada, up to the Saint Lawrence River , was occupied by the subarctic . In contrast to the Eskimos and Aleutians , the Athapasques and Algonquians living there did not feed on marine animals, but mainly on large game. The peoples of the northwest coast are known for their carved totem poles and for the potlatche , festivals at which generous gifts were given. In addition, they developed a culture based on hunting marine mammals such as seals and whales. In addition, they were the only ones to produce clothing and other materials from wood fibers and they carried out extensive trade. Further south on the Pacific coast , in the cultural area of California , the Indians ate game and marine animals as well as wild fruits, especially acorns . They made all kinds of wickerwork. The plateau lies in the Rocky Mountains east of the south northwest coast on what is now the border between the United States and Canada. For the Indians there, the focus was on catching salmon and trading with neighboring peoples. To the south of it, in the Great Basin , the residents had to cope with very poor conditions. They were hunters , lived in small groups and knew only a few rituals . Even further south, in the southwest , there were semi-nomadic gatherers and hunters as well as sedentary farmers. The sedentary pueblo peoples lived in pueblos from adobe and were able to plant corn, beans, pumpkins and cotton thanks to sophisticated irrigation systems. They also made pottery. Other peoples like the Diné lived in hogans or behind simple windscreens . The prairies and plains occupied the center of what is now the United States and extended as far as southern Canada. Large parts of this grassland area were only habitable after the earlier Spanish colonists had left the horse. The nomadic prairie Indians followed the large herds of bison and lived in mobile tipis . The eastern part of the United States was divided into the Northeastern and Southeastern woodlands . Sometimes powerful nations ruled here. The northeast was dominated by vast forests. In addition to growing corn, beans and pumpkins, some peoples also harvested wild rice . In the southeast, the five civilized nations in particular lived in matrilineal clans organized into totemic clans. In contrast to many other Indian groups, they did not believe in nature spirits, but were monotheists .

    The division into cultural areas does not coincide with the language groups. For example, Athapaskan groups lived in the subarctic as well as in the southwest.

    Apart from the chronicles of some prairie peoples, which recorded the most important event of a year with symbols, and Walam Olum , the tribal chronicle of the Lenni Lenape written in picture script on tree bark, the pre-Columbian North American Indians knew neither alphabet nor script. Indian tradition was therefore mainly oral. On the one hand, these oral reports are of astonishing accuracy and often go back several generations; on the other hand, their interpretation must take into account the cultural context, in particular the mixture with mythological ideas.

    Ethnic religions

    Okipa ceremony of the Mandan with self-torture, as it also takes place during the sun dance , in order to arouse the compassion of the spirit powers (painting by George Catlin , ca.1835)

    Just as diverse as the cultures of North America are their ethnic religions . Even within a “people” there were mostly numerous variants in the individual subgroups, such as the beliefs of the Ojibwa or that of the Eskimo peoples . There were tribes who believed in a supreme male deity and others who believed in a supreme female deity, and still others whose belief was based on deified, invisible natural phenomena or on supersensible powers.

    The heterogeneity has its cause on the one hand in the temporal and spatial isolation of the small, widely scattered ethnic groups on the huge double continent, which has been populated in several waves of immigration, so that the oral traditions have accordingly developed independently of one another. On the other hand, the geographical and climatic diversity ensured very different basic economic conditions, which in turn produced cultural and religious differences. This is true even for subgroups of large ethnicities who adopted a different way of life than their relatives (e.g. the bison-hunting Plains ojibwa compared to the wild rice-gathering lake ojibwa); often in the sense of adopting religious ideas from neighboring ethnic groups in the same cultural area.

    The oldest forms of religion in America come from the earliest immigrants from northeastern Asia. Their religion was presumably similar to the current type of Nordic hunting religion, but it is impossible to reconstruct.

    As the history of religion shows, similar ecological conditions, similar technologies and social structures often led to partially analogous developments: For example, animistic forms of religion (among hunters, gatherers, fishermen and simple farmers across the continent) and pronounced theocracies with priesthood (as with the Pueblo people ) and also with earth structures as places of worship (in the Mississippi culture and among the Natchez ). In between are the religious forms of the North American plains Indians , which can be called more individualistic . From this, however, one must in no way conclude that there are uniform beliefs within the forms mentioned! Such religious-phenomenological delimitations only serve as a rough categorization. In fact, there were very great differences in spirituality and in the conceptions of spirits or gods, and deviators and doubters existed just as everywhere in the world. Even if the appreciation of all forms of life, the preservation of the natural order and the experience of transcendence with so-called " primitive peoples " were fundamentally an inseparable part of everyday life, there were certainly ethnic groups (such as the Havasupai Indians) whose life was very secular.

    Although there was no uniform traditional "Indian religion", there are at least a few features that were widespread throughout North America:

    • The idea that man has multiple souls applied practically everywhere with the exception of the Pueblo peoples. Mostly people believed in a free soul - which could leave people in dreams, for example - and a vital soul - which was responsible for the vital functions and was physically bound. The Sioux peoples of the prairies even adopted four different souls. The belief in animal souls was also very common, and an anthropomorphic "appearance" was usually ascribed to them. Plant and object souls were a little rarer. (Note: such concepts must not be attributed to totemism ! Religious totemism - such as the idea of ​​a clan's descent from their totem (animal) - was even extremely rare among the Indians, whereas the totem as a (rather profane) clan badge among many tribes was present.)
    • With the exception of the Mesoamerican high cultures, the idea of human-like high gods (and corresponding images of gods or idols) occurred only very sporadically in pre-European times. Instead, almost all North American peoples believed in invisible, mysterious, supernatural forces that were often pantheistically personified - that is, roughly identical to the animals they "inhabit" or certain natural phenomena [compare: Manitu (Algonquin), Wakan (Sioux ), Orenda (Iroquois), diyi´ (Apaches), Náwalak (Kwakiutl), Inkoze (Chipewyan), Inua (Eskimo)].
    • The medicine bag - a container with holy objects, which often had the function of a talisman - was used by very many tribes.
    • The thunderbird was a very widespread mythical creature that was more or less clearly associated with the climatic extremes in North America .
    • The individualization of religious views was also typical of North America, because all tribesmen had a personal relationship to the supernatural world. In all cultural areas - with the exception of the southwest - there was a belief in a personal protective spirit (mostly in animal form).

    In popular and esoteric publications, as well as by followers of the environmental movement, the idea of ​​a holy mother earth is often presented as a common Indian religious symbol (compare the much-quoted, but fictional or at least drastically manipulated speech by Chief Seattle ) . However, it is a relatively recent generalization of very different views, which was originally used in the 19th century as a "strategic metaphor" by different tribes in communication with the conquerors. Only later did a central symbol of the modern Pan-Indian movement develop from this, again with religious evidence .

    The original religions of the Indians can be recorded on leichtesten, when seen in a historical-geographical and ecological perspective, as the model of the North American cultural complexes was made (see below under each "religions") .

    Contemporary culture

    Pan-Indianism in North America

    In contrast to the European nations, there was an enormous variety of heterogeneous cultures in historical North America. The collective term “Indian” therefore suggests a uniformity that has never existed in this way. Eurocentric notions such as Manitu as "the god of the Indians", stereotypical expressions such as squaw , medicine man or totem pole and many more paint a completely wrong picture.

    Until the resistance against the European conquerors, cross-tribal alliances were the great exception among the indigenous peoples. Cultural adjustment processes took place above all when groups migrated to new living spaces. Only the common experiences with the white culture slowly led to a common Indian identity finding in the 20th century , which is now called Pan- Indianism (→ Pan-movements ). Especially in the metropolises, Indians made the experience that the majority society did not perceive them to be differentiated as members of different tribes. This led for the first time to a common Indian feeling of solidarity, which began to establish itself there after these people returned to the reservations. The syncretistic Christian-traditional peyote religion , cross-tribal Powwow dance events and marriages as well as the work of individual personalities who speak for all Indians (such as Charles Eastman , Vine Deloria junior or Winona LaDuke ), as well as the environmental movement , which the Indians to “guardians of mother earth ”, promoted this development. This becomes visible, among other things, in the mix of cultural elements in the powwow costumes, which often approximate the style of the prairie Indians . The Indians themselves refer to this supra-regional, “ meta-tribal ” culture as “intertribalism”.

    As already described in the section “ Indian Resistance ”, this development also resulted in joint political activities (“Red Power”). However, the mistake of seeing the Indians from this Pan-Indian perspective should not be made again, because the traditional ties to the tribes still determine the life and consciousness of the Indians.


    The majority of the indigenous people of North America today belong to Christianity . Nevertheless, traditional ideas and rituals of the former ethnic religions (for example the sun dance of the prairie Indians, medicine leagues of the Iroquois , belief in ghosts and hunting rituals of the northern athabasques , shamanic practices of the Anishinabe or the Kachina cults of the Pueblo peoples) are still alive in many groups - albeit often in reduced and modified form. Through a critical examination of the role of missionaries , Sioux author Vine Deloria Jr. with his book Custer Died For Your Sins in 1969 a wave of confessions of repentance from the churches and paved the way for massive financial aid to the AIM by the National Council of Churches (see also: Christian Mission in North America ). At the beginning of the 21st century - not least through Deloria's writings - a revitalization of the old religions can be determined. The motif of mother earth is also interesting , which is regarded by today's Indians as an ancient religious symbol, although the personification of a divine earth according to the current state of research as a common good of all Indians only arose in the land law conflicts with the whites.

    The most widespread syncretistic religion among North American Indians today is the Native American Church . This is based on traditional practices of different tribes, mixed with more or less Christian elements. The most important rite is the peyote ceremony. The structure of the Native American Church is slightly different depending on the region, depending on which Christian faith was predominant during the colonization and which tribal customs were common. The “Indian Church” is today an important antithesis to the negative effects such as alcoholism and crime that colonization has brought with it. Above all, however, there is a heterogeneous religious pluralism in most of the tribes , so that convinced Christians, agnostics , followers of the Pan-Indian Native American Church or the Mother Earth philosophy can be found alongside traditionalists .

    Saponi drummers at a pow wow

    Music and art

    The music of the North American Indians is usually monophonic . Today traditional music is cultivated, consisting of drums and flutes , as well as modern music styles such as country and pop, mostly mixed with traditional elements. Some Indian performers made the leap into the American public, for example Robbie Robertson , Rita Coolidge , Buffy Sainte-Marie , John Trudell , Wayne Newton and the band Redbone .

    The most widespread musical occasions among the North American Indians are the powwows . Drum groups sit around a big drum and beat together while they sing traditional songs. Dancers in colorful clothes dance to this music.

    The art of the Indians consists of pottery, painting, jewelry making, weaving, carving and basket weaving.

    Language groups

    The North American natives speak a large number of indigenous languages , the scientific classification and delimitation of which has not yet been agreed.

    The Métis , descendants of predominantly French immigrants and indigenous women, who are recognized as an indigenous people in Canada, play a special role . They speak partly French , partly Michif , a language related to the Cree .

    See also


    Indigenous literature

    • Jeannette C. Armstrong : SLASH . Novel about the Red Power movement. Unrast publishing house . ISBN 3-928300-56-3
    • Brigitte Georgi-Findlay, "Indian Literature" in: American History of Literature , ed. by Hubert Zapf, 2nd edition, Stuttgart and Weimar: Metzler 2004, pp. 387-414
    • Suzanne Evertsen Lundquist, Native American Literatures: An Introduction , New York: Continuum Inter. Publis. 2004, ISBN 0-8264-1599-7
    • The Columbia guide to American Indian literatures of the United States since 1945 , ed. By Eric Cheyfitz, New York, NY: Columbia Univ. Press, 2006
    • Cambridge Companion to native American literature , Cambridge University Press, 2005
    • An anthology of Canadian native literature in English , ed. By Daniel David Moses, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005
    • Michel Jean (Ed.): Amun. Novellas. Authors of the First Nations / Premières Nations of the French-speaking Canadian province of Québec . Translated from the French by Michael von Killisch-Horn. Klagenfurt 2020.

    Indigenous about indigenous literature



    Web links

    Commons : Indians of North America  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs .
    2. a b Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon, 2010, p. 33
    3. a b Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon, 2010, p. 35
    4. George R. Milner, George Chaplin: Eastern North American Population at around AD 1500 . In: American Antiquity , Volume 75, No. 4 Oct 2010, pp. 707-726, 708
    5. a b George R. Milner, George Chaplin: Eastern North American Population at around AD 1500 . In: American Antiquity , Volume 75, No. 4, October 2010, pages 707-726, 709 with further references
    6. George R. Milner, George Chaplin: Eastern North American Population at around AD 1500 . In: American Antiquity , Volume 75, No. 4, October 2010, pp. 707-726, 720
    7. David Hurst Thomas, Jay Miller, Richard White, Peter Nabokov, Philip J. Deloria: Die Welt der Inder. History, art, culture from the beginning to the present. 4th edition, from the English by Werner Petermann, Frederking & Thaler, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-89405-331-3 . Pp. 360-361.
    8. Feest: Beseelte Welten , pp. 185–193 as well as partly. 193ff.
    9. According to Oeser, p. 97.
    10. Roger L. Nichols : Indians in the United States & Canada - A Comparative History , University of Nebraska Press (1998)
    11. Veronica E. Tiller: Discover Indian Reservations USA - A Visitors' Welcome Guide , Council Publications, Denver, Colorado (1992)
    13. US census from 2000
    14. A list of recognized Indian tribes in the United States can be found here: .
    15. 2000 Summary File 1 - US Census Bureau (PDF; 4.6 MB) US Census Bureau. 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
    16. BBC (April 12, 2012): US to pay Native Americans $ 1bn to settle land lawsuit
    17. ( Memento from June 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
    18. a b Peter Antes: Outline of the History of Religion - From Prehistory to the Present. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-17-016965-4 . P. 41.
    19. a b S.A. Tokarev : Religion in the History of Nations. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1968. pp. 140, 164-165, 171.
    20. Åke Hultkrantz: American Religions, published in: Horst Balz et al. (Ed.): Theologische Realenzyklopädie , Volume 2: "Agende - Anselm von Canterbury". Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 1978, ISBN 978-3-11-019098-4 . Pp. 402-458.
    21. Feest: Animate Worlds , pp. 16-17, 20, 23.
    22. Feest: Animate Worlds , pp. 63, 68–70.
    23. Feest: Animated Worlds , p. 88.
    24. Miriam Schultze: Traditional Religions in North America. In: Harenberg Lexicon of Religions. Harenberg, Dortmund 2002, ISBN 3-611-01060-X . P. 880.
    25. George Catlin: The Indians of North America. Adventures and destinies . Revised by Ernst Bartsch. Edition Erdmann. K. Thienmanns Verlag, Stuttgart 1994, OA 1924, ISBN 3-522-61220-5 . P. 37 ff.
    26. Wolfgang Lindig and Mark Münzel: The Indians. Cultures and history of the Indians of North, Central and South America. dtv, Munich 1978, ISBN 3-423-04317-X p. 211.
    27. Feest: Animate Worlds , pp. 55–59, 72, 101.
    28. a b c Christian F. Feest: Animated Worlds - The religions of the Indians of North America. In: Small Library of Religions , Vol. 9, Herder, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-451-23849-7 . Pp. 15-16, 55-59, 185, 193.
    29. René König: Indians - where to ?: Alternatives in Arizona; Sketches for the sociology of development. Springer-Verlag 2013. p. 61.
    30. Cora Bender and Andreas Niederberger: Powwow, Radio, Network - To locate the knowledge cultures of North American Indians in the present. In: Claus Zittel (ed.): Knowledge and social construction. Walter de Gruyter 2002. p. 281.
    31. Keyword: Pan-Indianism . In: Universal-Lexikon 2012, accessed on October 30, 2015.
    This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on March 3, 2006 .