Portal:Indigenous peoples of the Americas

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Welcome to the indigenous peoples of the Americas portal

Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas

An autosomal genetic tree showing some neighbour-joining relationships within Amerindian peoples


The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South, and Central America, and their descendants. Pueblos indígenas (indigenous peoples) is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries. Aborigen (aboriginal/native) is used in Argentina, whereas "Amerindian" is used in Guyana but not commonly in other countries. Indigenous peoples are commonly known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are commonly known as Native Americans or American Indians, and Alaska Natives.

According to the prevailing New World migration model, migrations of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait. The majority of authorities agree that the earliest migration via Beringia took place at least 13,500 years ago, These early Paleo-Indians spread throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes. According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living there since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation accounts.

Many parts of the Americas are still populated by indigenous Americans; some countries have sizable populations, especially Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Greenland, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. At least a thousand different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní, Mayan languages, and Nahuatl, count their speakers in millions. Many also maintain aspects of indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization, and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many Indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects, but also cater to modern needs. Some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western society, and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. (Full article...)

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"The Custer Fight" by Charles Marion Russell

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which occurred June 25–26, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, was the most prominent action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). The U.S. 7th Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led by George Armstrong Custer, suffered a severe defeat. Five of the 7th Cavalry's twelve companies were annihilated; Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count, including scouts, was 268 dead and 55 injured.

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Nez Perce warrior on horse.jpg
Nez Perce man, wearing loin cloth and moccasins, on horseback. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, circa 1910.
image credit: public domain

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Rigoberta Menchu 2009 cropped.jpg

Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Spanish pronunciation: [riɣoˈβerta menˈtʃu], born 9 January 1959) is an indigenous Guatemalan woman, of the K'iche' ethnic group. Menchú has dedicated her life to publicizing the plight of Guatemala's indigenous peoples during and after the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–1996), and to promoting indigenous rights in the country. She received the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize and Prince of Asturias Award in 1998. She is the subject of the testimonial biography I, Rigoberta Menchú (1983) and the author of the autobiographical work, Crossing Borders.

Menchú is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She has also become a figure in indigenous political parties and ran for President of Guatemala in 2007 and 2011.

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Raqchi archaeological site Peru (overview).jpg
Raqchi archaeological site, Peru
image credit: AgainErick

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American indigenous language Wikipedias

Avañe'ẽ (Warani)  · Aymar aru (Aymara)  · ᏣᎳᎩ (Cherokee)  · Chahta (Choctaw)  · ᐃᔨᔫ (Cree)  · ᐃᓄᒃ (Inuktitut)  · Iñupiak  · Kalaallisut (Greenlandic Inuit)  · Mvskoke (Muscogee)  · Nahuatlahtolli  · Diné bizaad (Navajo)  · Qhichwa Simi  · Tsêhesenêstsestôtse (Cheyenne)

Indigenous languages in Wikimedia Incubators: Alabama  · Blackfoot  · Chinook Jargon  · Choctaw  · Creek  · Lakota  · Micmac  · Mohawk  · Nheengatu  · Northwestern Ojibwa  · O'odham  · Shoshoni  · Unami-Lenape  · Wüne pakina (Mapudungun)  · Yucatec Maya  · Central Alaskan Yup'ik  · Zuni

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