Native American Contributions

Did you know that Native Americans have contributed many things to the American way of life today? Things that you use or do now, many Native Americans have been using and doing for many years.

One of the most important aspects of Native American life is ecology.

The Native Americans have always had a deep respect for the land and lived in harmony with nature. There was a love of every form of life. The Native Americans did not kill anything they could not use.

Many of the games you play today came from Native Americans.

Canoeing, lacrosse, relay races, tug-of-wars, and ball games are just a few of the games early Native Americans played.

Did you know that the idea for the U.S. government was adopted from the Native Americans?

The Iroquois Confederacy influenced our very form of democratic government, as Benjamin Franklin copied it when he drafted our Federation of States.

Many words we use every day came from Native Americans.

Many Native American words and inventions have become an everyday part of our language and use. Some of these include: barbecue, chipmunk, hammock, toboggan, skunk, and moccasin. Approximately half of our states and many towns, cities and rivers have names of Native American origin, for instance: Waco, Miami, Wichita, and Texas.

Native Americans developed and communicated with sign language.

Native Americas used a system of hand signals to communicate between different tribal groups and later between Native Americas and trappers and traders. The same idea is used today for communicating with those who are deaf and unable to speak.

Many Native Americans served during World War I, World War II, and other campaigns.

One of the most notable Native American contributions during World War II was the service of the Navajo Code Talkers, a special group of volunteers who did top-secret work using a secret code in Navajo that could not be broken.

Source: Native American Contributions
Courtesy of Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

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