By the age of 10, most children in the United States have been taught all 50 states that make up the country. But centuries ago, the land that is now the United States was a very different place. Over 20 million Native Americans dispersed across over 1,000 distinct tribes, bands, and ethnic groups populated the territory. Today, Native Americans account for just 1.5 percent of the population, and much of their history has been lost, particularly as today’s education system is sadly lacking when it comes to teaching the rich and complex history of the United States. Here we examine little-known facts about Native Americans, which should be included in every history book.
As of January, 2016, there are 566 legally recognized Native American tribes in the United States, as determined by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Prior to European contact, there were over 1,000 tribes, bands or clans, but sadly, some were completely extinguished as a result of disease epidemics or war.
Today, there is not a single accurate historical map that reflects the location of Native American tribes in North America in a single time period, as the post-European contact situation was ever changing, with contact occurring at different times in different areas…..