Tribes of native people who settled in North America existed long before they were found by the European explorers. They were often associated with the other natives through their culture and common language. They were known by many names such as Indians, Native Americans, Native Indians, and American Indians, native tribes of Northern America, Natives of North America and more similar names. Books and histories about them are listed or categorized under these tags.
Identifying Tribal Names of the Natives of North America
It is essential to recognize the names of the native tribes of North America before attempting to trace their members. Names of the groups and tribes have transformed over time so it is necessary to be informed about the possible name changes. In recent times, most tribes began using their own tribal names than their European name. An example is the former Papago Tribe which is now known as the Tohono O’odham.
Almost none of the natives of North America had a written language. Early records about them were written, made and preserved by people and governments researching about the natives. Native Americans used verbal history methods in preserving their culture and history.
There are usually two ways to preserving the records of the Native Americans. One is by tribal name and the other one is by location. Example, some records are arranged using the tag “Nez Perce Tribe” while other records are arranged as “Indians of Idaho”. The best way, and perhaps the easiest way, to look for records of the tribes is to know their tribal name. Nevertheless, if the name of the tribe is not identified, it is better to start studying about the locality to reveal what tribes settled in that area. The history of a place can help you determine the particular tribes who lived in that place in various time periods. Studying the history of the tribe reveals their location during a specific time in history.
There are collections of records kept about natives of North America. Some include the National Archives of the U.S. in Washington D.C., regional archives, the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Family History Library, and the Public Archives of Canada to name a few of the libraries or institution that keeps substantial information of Native American records. Other facilities or institutions have also copies of these records but the mentioned record custodians keep something that is exclusive to their facility.
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