Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve; some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. Clem Miller, a US Congressman from Marin County wrote and introduced the bill for the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962 to protect the peninsula from development, proposed at the time for the slopes above Drake's Bay. All of the park's beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010; the Point Reyes peninsula is a well defined area, geologically separated from the rest of Marin County and all of the continental United States by a rift zone of the San Andreas Fault, about half of, sunk below sea level and forms Tomales Bay. The fact that the peninsula is on a different tectonic plate than the east shore of Tomales Bay produces a difference in soils and therefore to some extent a noticeable difference in vegetation.
The small town of Point Reyes Station, although not located on the peninsula provides most services to it, though some services are available at Inverness on the west shore of Tomales Bay. The smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, located on Bear Valley Road; the peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands and uplands. Although parts of the Seashore are commercially farmed, parts are under the jurisdiction of other conservation authorities, the National Park Service provides signage and seeks to manage visitor impact on the entire peninsula and all of Tomales Bay; the Seashore administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, that are adjacent to the Seashore. The northernmost part of the peninsula is maintained as a reserve for tule elk, which are seen there; the preserve is very rich in raptors and shorebirds. The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the gray whale migrating south in mid-January and north in mid-March.
The Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark. It is the last remaining example of a rail launched lifeboat station, common on the Pacific coast. Nova Albion, Francis Drake's 1579 campsite; this encompasses 5,965 acres along the coast of Drakes Bay. Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village, is a short walk from the visitor center. More than 30,000 acres of the Point Reyes National Seashore are designated as the Phillip Burton Wilderness, named in honor of California Congressman Phillip Burton, who wrote the legislation creating the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and was instrumental in helping to pass the California Wilderness Act of 1984; the Point Reyes National Seashore attracts 2.5 million visitors annually. Hostelling International USA maintains a 45-bed youth hostel at the Seashore. Point Reyes National Seashore Association, formed in 1964, collaborates with the Seashore on maintenance and educational projects. Point Reyes State Marine Reserve & Point Reyes State Marine Conservation Area, Estero de Limantour State Marine Reserve & Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area and Duxbury Reef State Marine Conservation Area adjoin Point Reyes National Seashore.
Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. A large shellfish farm raising Japanese oysters, Crassostrea gigas, was located in Drakes Estero until, under court order, it closed down at end of 2014. Court appeals to keep the operation in place were dropped in December, 2014; the farm was purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, the agency issued a permit to allow the previous owner to continue operations for 40 years. The business was sold to a new owner in 2004, the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, informed by the NPS at the time of purchase that their permit to operate would not be renewed beyond the November 30, 2012 expiration date. A federal law enacted in 2009 authorized, but did not require, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to renew the permit; the NPS and conservation groups viewed the farm as an inappropriate and environmentally-insensitive use of the estero, designated a "potential wilderness area" by Congress. The farm's supporters argued that it was not ecologically harmful and was important to the local economy.
On November 29, 2012, Salazar announced that he would not renew the permit, citing the original intent of the Point Reyes Wilderness Act to designate the area as wilderness upon the removal of the oyster farm. Salazar visited the farm the previous week and personally phoned the farm's owner to give him the news; the oyster farm closure was challenged in U. S. District Court on January 25, 2013; the challenge was rejected by a federal court judge, who ruled that the law gave Salazar unfettered discretion to approve or deny a renewal of the permit. The California Coastal Commission voted on February 7, 2013 to unanimously approve cease and desist and restoration orders for violations of the California Coastal Act; the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected an appeal of the district court's decision, ruling on Sept. 3, 2013 that the oyster farm's owner had not shown a likelihood of success on the merits because Salazar had acted within his discretion in denying the permit.
An attempt to have the appeals court rehear the case was rejected on January 14, 2014 and a petition to the U
The Coast Miwok are an indigenous people, the second largest group of Miwok people. The Coast Miwok inhabited the general area of modern Marin County and southern Sonoma County in Northern California, from the Golden Gate north to Duncans Point and eastward to Sonoma Creek; the Coast Miwok included the Bodega Bay Miwok, from authenticated Miwok villages around Bodega Bay, the Marin Miwok. The Coast Miwok spoke their own Coast Miwok language in the Utian linguistic group, they lived by hunting and gathering, lived in small bands without centralized political authority. In the springtime they would head to the coasts including seaweed. Otherwise their staple foods were acorns—particularly from black and tan oak–nuts and wild game, such as deer and cottontail rabbits and black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, a coastal subspecies of the California mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus; when hunting deer, Miwok hunters traditionally used Brewer's angelica, Angelica breweri to eliminate their own scent.
Miwok did not hunt bears. Yerba buena tea leaf were used medicinally. Tattooing was a traditional practice among Coast Miwok, they burned poison oak for a pigment, their traditional houses, called "kotcha" were constructed with slabs of tule grass or redwood bark in a cone-shaped form. Miwok people are skilled at basketry. A recreated Coast Miwok village called; the Coast Miwok language is no longer natively spoken, but the Bodega dialect is documented in Callaghan. The original Coast Miwok people world view included animism, one form of this took was the Kuksu religion, evident in Central and Northern California; this included elaborate acting and dancing ceremonies in traditional costume, an annual mourning ceremony, puberty rites of passage, shamanic intervention with the spirit world and an all-male society that met in subterranean dance rooms. Kuksu was shared with other indigenous ethnic groups of Central California, such as their neighbors the Pomo Maidu, Ohlone and northernmost Yokuts; however Kroeber observed less "specialized cosmogony" in the Miwok, which he termed one of the "southern Kuksu-dancing groups", in comparison to the Maidu and other northern California tribes.
Coast Miwok mythology and narratives were similar to those of other natives of Central and Northern California. The Coast Miwok believed in animal and human spirits, saw the animal spirits as their ancestors. Coyote was seen as their creator god. In their case the earth began with land formed out of the Pacific Ocean. In their myths, legends and histories, the Coast Miwok participated in the general cultural pattern of Central California; the authenticated Coast Miwok villages are: On Bodega Bay: Helapattai, Hime-takala, Ho-takala, Tiwut-huya, Tokau. In this vicinity: Awachi, Kennekono. On Tomales Bay: Echa-kolum, Shotommo-wi, Utumia At the present-day City of Petaluma: Etem, Petaluma. In this vicinity: Tuchayelin, Meleya, Tulme, Wotoki. At the present-day City of San Rafael: Awani-wi. At the present-day City of Sonoma: Huchi. In this vicinity: Temblek, Wugilwa. At the present-day City of Cotati: Kotati, Lumen-takala. In this vicinity: Payinecha. At the present-day town of Nicasio: Echa-tamal. At the present-day town of Olema: Olema-loke.
At the present-day City of Sausalito: Liwanelowa. Near the present-day town of Bolinas: Bauli-n Near the present-day town of Freestone: Oye-yomi, Patawa-yomi. Near the present-day town of Ignacio: Ewu, Shotokmo-cha. Near the present-day City of Novato: Chokeche, Olompolli. Near the present-day town of Valley Ford: Ewapalt, Uli-yomi. Near the present-day town of Salmon Creek: Pulya-lakum. Documentation of Miwok peoples dates back as early as 1579 by a priest on a ship under the command of Sir Francis Drake. Other verification of occupancy exists from Spanish and Russian voyagers between 1595 and 1808. Over 1000 prehistoric charmstones and numerous arrowheads have been unearthed at Tolay Lake in Southern Sonoma County - some dating back 4000 years; the lake was thought to be a sacred site and ceremonial gathering and healing place for the Miwok and others in the region. Coast Miwok would camp on the coast and bays at peak fishing seasons. After the Europeans arrived in California, the population declined from diseases introduced by the Europeans.
Beginning in 1783, mission ecclesiastical records show that Coast Miwok individuals began to join Mission San Francisco de Asis, now known as Mission Dolores. They started joining that mission in large numbers in 1803, when the marriages of 49 couples from their Huimen and Guaulen local tribes appeared in the Mission San Francisco Book of Marriages. Local tribes from farther and farther north along the shore of San Pablo Bay moved to Mission San Francisco through the year 1812. In 1814 the Spanish authorities began to split the northern groups—Alagualis, Chocoimes and Petalumas—sending a portion of each group to Mission San Francisco and another portion to Mission San Jose in the southeast portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. By the end of
Marin County, California
Marin County is a county located in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,409, its county seat is San Rafael. Marin County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco; as of 2010, Marin County had the fifth highest income per capita in the United States at $91,483. The county is governed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors; the county is well known for its natural environment and liberal politics. San Quentin State Prison is located in the county. Autodesk, the publisher of AutoCAD, is located there, as well as numerous other high-tech companies; the Marin County Civic Center was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and draws thousands of visitors a year to guided tours of its arch and atrium design. In 1994, a new county jail facility was embedded into the hillside nearby. Marin County's natural sites include the Muir Woods redwood forest, the Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach, the Point Reyes National Seashore, Mount Tamalpais.
The United States' oldest cross country running event, the Dipsea Race, takes place annually in Marin County, attracting thousands of athletes. Mountain biking was invented on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Marin. Marin County is one of the original 27 counties of California, created February 18, 1850, following adoption of the California Constitution of 1849 and just months before the state was admitted to the Union. According to General Mariano Vallejo, who headed an 1850 committee to name California's counties, the county was named for "Marin", great chief of the tribe Licatiut". Marin had been named Huicmuse until he was baptized as "Marino" at about age 20. Marin / Marino was born into the Huimen people, a Coast Miwok tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the San Rafael area. Vallejo believed. Marino did reside at Mission Dolores much of the time from his 1801 baptism and marriage until 1817 serving as a baptism witness and godfather. Starting in 1817, he served as an alcalde at the San Rafael Mission, where he lived from 1817 off and on until his death.
In 1821, Marino served as an expedition guide for the Spanish for a couple of years before escaping and hiding out for some months in the tiny Marin Islands. Another version of the origin of the county name is that the bay between San Pedro Point and San Quentin Point was named Bahía de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marinera in 1775, that Marin is an abbreviation of this name; the Coast Miwok Indians were hunters and gatherers whose ancestors had occupied the area for thousands of years. About 600 village sites have been identified in the county; the Coast Miwok numbered in the thousands. Today, there are few left and fewer with any knowledge of their Coast Miwok lineage. Efforts are being made. Francis Drake and the crew of the Golden Hind was thought to have landed on the Marin coast in 1579 claiming the land as Nova Albion. A bronze plaque inscribed with Drake's claim to the new lands, fitting the description in Drake's own account, was discovered in 1933; this so-called Drake's Plate of Brass was revealed as a hoax in 2003.
In 1595, Sebastian Cermeno lost the San Agustin, while exploring the Marin Coast. The Spanish explorer Vizcaíno landed about twenty years after Drake in what is now called Drakes Bay; however the first Spanish settlement in Marin was not established until 1817 when Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in response to the Russian-built Fort Ross to the north in what is now Sonoma County. Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in what is now downtown San Rafael as the 20th Spanish mission in the colonial Mexican province of Alta California by four priests, Father Narciso Duran from Mission San Jose, Father Abella from Mission San Francisco de Asís, Father Gil y Taboada and Father Mariano Payeras, the President of the Missions, on December 14, 1817, four years before Mexico gained independence from Spain. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 828 square miles, of which 520 square miles is land and 308 square miles is water, it is the fourth-smallest county in California by land area.
According to the records at the County Assessor-Recorder's Office, as of June 2006, Marin had 91,065 acres of taxable land, consisting of 79,086 parcels with a total tax basis of $39.8 billion. These parcels are divided into the following classifications: Geographically, the county forms a large, southward-facing peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay to the east, – across the Golden Gate – the city of San Francisco to the south. Marin County's northern border is with Sonoma County. Most of the county's population resides on the eastern side, with a string of communities running along San Francisco Bay, from Sausalito to Tiburon to Corte Madera to San Rafael; the interior contains large areas of open space. West Marin has beaches which are popular destinations for tourists year-round. Notable features of the shoreline along the San Francisco Bay include the Sausalito shoreline, Richardson Bay, t
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Julia F. Parker
Julia Florence Parker is a Coast Miwok-Kashaya Pomo basket weaver. Parker studied with some of the leading 20th century indigenous Californian basketweavers: Lucy Telles. Over the last 40 years, Parker has become one of the preeminent Native American basket makers in California. A respected elder of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and long-time resident of Yosemite Valley, Parker is prolific artist and storyteller. Julia Parker was born in February 1929 in California, her father was Coast Miwok, her mother was Kashaya Pomo. They both died when Parker was still young, so she and her siblings were sent to a Native American boarding school. In 1945, when Parker was 17 years old, she married Ralph Parker. Ralph, grandson of Lucy Telles, is thought to be the last fullblood Mono Lake Paiute; the couple moved to Yosemite. Since 1960, Parker has worked as a cultural specialist at the Yosemite Museum and interprets the cultural history of Yosemite Valley tribes to park visitors, she demonstrates acorn processing.
She has taught and lectured across the United States at universities, cultural centers, schools. She has traveled to Alaska and Australia to meet with indigenous artists and has been invited by numerous museums, including the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York City, to consult with specialists about collections stored in their facilities. In 2004, Parker's work was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition, The Past in Present Tense: Four Decades of Julia Parker Baskets, installed at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek. In the same year she was featured in a segment of KQED's program Spark. Parker's work is in permanent collections of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. In 2006, California College of the Arts conferred an honorary doctorate to Parker, in 2007 she was a recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
Native America Women: A Biographical Dictionary, p. 232Valoma, Deborah. Scrape the Willow until It Sings: The Words and Work of Basket Maker Julia Parker Julia Parker – Grandmother's Prayer, DVD, produced by Wallace Murray and Tim Campbell, filmed at Kule Loklo in Point Reyes
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants. Although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture; the impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas. Although some societies depended on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, states and empires. Among these are the Aztec and Maya states that until the 16th century were among the most politically and advanced nations in the world, they had a vast knowledge of engineering, mathematics, writing, medicine and irrigation, mining and goldsmithing. Many parts of the Americas are still populated by indigenous peoples.
At least a thousand different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as the Quechuan languages, Guaraní, Mayan languages and Nahuatl, count their speakers in millions. Many 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 cater to modern needs; some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western culture and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are known as Native Americans or American Indians and Alaska Natives. Application of the term "Indian" originated with Christopher Columbus, who, in his search for India, thought that he had arrived in the East Indies; those islands came to be known as the "West Indies", a name still used. This led to the blanket term "Indies" and "Indians" for the indigenous inhabitants, which implied some kind of racial or cultural unity among the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
This unifying concept, codified in law and politics, was not accepted by the myriad groups of indigenous peoples themselves, but has since been embraced or tolerated, by many over the last two centuries. Though the term "Indian" does not include the culturally and linguistically distinct indigenous peoples of the Arctic regions of the Americas—such as the Aleuts, Inuit or Yupik peoples, who entered the continent as a second more recent wave of migration several thousand years before and have much more recent genetic and cultural commonalities with the aboriginal peoples of the Asiatic Arctic Russian Far East—these groups are nonetheless considered "indigenous peoples of the Americas". Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which includes not only First Nations and Arctic Inuit, but the minority population of First Nations-European mixed race Métis people who identify culturally and ethnically with indigenous peoplehood; this is contrasted, for instance, to the American Indian-European mixed race mestizos of Hispanic America who, with their larger population, identify as a new ethnic group distinct from both Europeans and Indigenous Americans, but still considering themselves a subset of the European-derived Hispanic or Brazilian peoplehood in culture and ethnicity.
The term Amerindian and its cognates find preferred use in scientific contexts and in Quebec, the Guianas and the English-speaking Caribbean. Indígenas or pueblos indígenas is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries and pueblos nativos or nativos may be heard, while aborigen is used in Argentina and pueblos originarios is common in Chile. In Brazil, indígenas or povos indígenas are common if formal-sounding designations, while índio is still the more often-heard term and aborígene and nativo being used in Amerindian-specific contexts; the Spanish and Portuguese equivalents to Indian could be used to mean any hunter-gatherer or full-blooded Indigenous person to continents other than Europe or Africa—for example, indios filipinos. The specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are the subject of ongoing research and discussion. According to archaeological and genetic evidence and South America were the last continents in the world to gain human habitation.
During the Wisconsin glaciation, 50–17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the land bridge of Beringia that joined Siberia to northwest North America. Alaska was a glacial refugium; the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of North America, blocking nomadic inhabitants and confining them to Alaska for thousands of years. Indigenous genetic studies suggest that the first inhabitants of the Americas share a single ancestral population, one that developed in isolation, conjectured to be Beringia; the isolat