Sanpete County, Utah
Sanpete County is a county in the U. S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 27,822, its county seat is Manti, its largest city is Ephraim. The county was created in 1850; the Sanpete Valley may have been traversed or inhabited as long as 32,000 BP, by small bands of hunters. Such lifestyle continued for about 20,000 years, at which time the extinction of larger game animals forced a change. About 8,500 years ago, different groups came onto the scene; these departed the area about 2,500 years ago, for unknown reasons, after which the area was unvisited by humans for 1,500 years. Archeological evidence indicates that the Fremont people appeared next on the stage, the first inhabitants to domesticate crops and to create large communal settlements. In this county the best-known Fremont site to date is "Witch's Knoll" three miles SE of Ephraim. Around 1300 AD the evidence of Fremont habitation ceases, the county again lay unvisited until the arrival of the present-day "Indians", the Ute/Paiute/Goshute/Shoshoni, speaking a common language called "Numic."The uninhabited Great Basin was inhabited by the Mormon pioneers beginning in summer 1847.
The first few years were spent establishing a base in the Great Salt Lake Valley groups were sent - by directive of the church leaders - to settle the more outlying areas. In 1849 two Ute chiefs traveled to the Salt Lake Valley to request that such settlements be made in the Sanpete Valley; the chiefs and Sowiette, asked Mormon leader Brigham Young to settle a group of his people in the valley of Sanpitch, about 125 miles to the south. Young sent a party to explore the area in August of that year, it was deemed favorable to settlement, Brigham Young called Isaac Morley and George Washington Bradley to organize about fifty families to move south and settle "San Pete." The group of 224 arrived on November 19.led by Isaac Morley, Charles Shumway, Seth Taft and George Washington Bradley. After some debate, the first settlement in the valley was established on the present site of Manti, Utah; the State of Deseret enacted the county effective January 31, 1850. It was named for the Ute chief Sanpitch, changed to Sanpete.
According to William Bright, the name comes from the Ute word saimpitsi, meaning "people of the tules". The county boundaries were adjusted a dozen times during the 19th century. An adjustment in 1913 and a refining of the county boundary definitions in 1919 brought Sanpete County to its present configuration; the Sanpete Valley runs from north to south through the center of the county. The county is sloped to the south, with its highest point east of Ephraim, on South Tent Mountain at 11,285' ASL; the county has a total area of 1,603 square miles, of which 1,590 square miles is land and 12 square miles is water. The geographical center of Utah is located in Sanpete County, just west of Ephraim. Sanpete County is bounded along its eastern side by the Wasatch Plateau; the Wasatch Plateau rises to elevations of 11,000 feet. Most of the Wasatch Plateau is encompassed by the Manti Division of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Runoff from the western slopes of these mountains provides water to the county's cities and agricultural areas.
Central Sanpete is dominated by the Sanpete Valley. The western side of the valley is bounded by the lower and drier San Pitch Mountains, which form part of the western boundary of the county; the San Pitch River, runs from north to south through Sanpete and empties into the Sevier River in southwestern Sanpete. This portion of the Sevier River Valley is known as Gunnison Valley; as of the 2000 United States Census, there were 22,763 people, 6,547 households, 5,067 families in the county. The population density was 14.3/sqmi. There were 7,879 housing units at an average density of 4.96/sqmi. The racial makeup of the county was 92.43% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.36% Pacific Islander, 4.06% from other races, 1.49% from two or more races. 6.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In 2005 Sanpete County had a population, 88.7% non-Hispanic whites. African Americans constituted 0.5% of the population. Native Americans were 1.0% of the population.
Asians were 0.8% of the population. Pacific Islanders were growing faster in numbers than Asians and were tied with Asians at 0.8%. 8.1% of the population was now Latino. There were 6,547 households out of which 43.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.00% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, 22.60% were non-families. 17.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.27 and the average family size was 3.68. The county population contained 33.20% under the age of 18, 16.40% from 18 to 24, 21.80% from 25 to 44, 17.80% from 45 to 64, 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 102.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.90 males. The median income for a household in the county was $33,042, the median income for a family was $37,796. Males had a median income of $30,527 versus $19,974 for females.
The per capita income for the county was $12,442. About 10.40% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.90% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or
Manti is a city in and the county seat of Sanpete County, United States. The population was 3,276 at the 2010 United States Census. Manti is the first community to be settled outside the Wasatch Front and served as the hub for the formation of many other communities in Central Utah; the Manti Utah Temple, the fifth temple built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is found in Manti and dominates the area's skyline. Manti annually hosts the two-week-long Mormon Miracle Pageant. Manti was one of the first communities settled in. Chief Walkara, a Ute Tribe leader, invited Brigham Young to send pioneers to the area to teach his people the techniques of successful farming. In 1849, Brigham Young dispatched a company of about 225 settlers, consisting of several families, to the Sanpitch Valley. Under the direction of Isaac Morley and George Washington Bradley, the settlers arrived at the present location of Manti in November, they endured a severe winter by living in temporary shelters dug into the south side of the hill on which the Manti Temple now stands.
Brigham Young named the new community Manti, after a city mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Manti was incorporated in 1851; the first mayor of Manti was Dan Jones. Manti served as a hub city for the settlement of other communities in the valley. Relations with the local Native Americans deteriorated and the Walker War soon ensued; the war consisted of various raids conducted by the Native Americans against Mormon outposts in Central and Southern Utah. The Walker War ended in the mid-1850s in an understanding negotiated between Brigham Young and Wakara. Shortly thereafter, Welcome Chapman and Wakara oversaw the baptism of scores of Wakara's tribe members. Although immediate hostilities ended, none of the underlying conflicts were resolved. In 1865 Utah's Black Hawk War erupted when an incident between a Manti resident and a young chieftain exploded into open warfare between the Mormon settlers and the local Native Americans. Forts were built in other nearby communities. Smaller settlements in the area were temporarily abandoned for the duration of the war.
In the fall of 1867, Chief Black Hawk made peace with the settlers, but sporadic violence occurred until 1872 when federal troops intervened. Many Mormon settlers who fought and died in the wars are buried in the Manti Cemetery. Most of the Utes were relocated to the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Eastern Utah. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles, all of it land. Manti is located in a semi-arid climate with cold winters, its high elevation means that the climate is cooler than other populated areas of Utah during summer. Summers highs average in the mid-80s°F, with winter highs in the mid-30s°F. Winter lows, dip to around 15–20 °F. Pacific storms move through the region from October through May and spring is the wettest season. However, the driest season relies on precipitation from scattered diurnal thunderstorm activity and the Gulf of California monsoon. Winter and spring see frequent snowfall. Precipitation averages 12.70 inches and snowfall 52.2 inches.
The record high temperature is 110 °F, set on August 6, 1895, while the record low is −27 °F, set on January 22, 1937. Although Utah as a whole only averages 2–3 tornadoes per year, Manti was hit directly by an F2 tornado on September 8, 2002; the tornado was on the ground for 15 minutes and managed to cause $2 million in damage as it tore through southeastern Manti. Remarkably, no one was killed in the incident; as of the census of 2000, there were 3,040 people, 930 households, 742 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,560.2 people per square mile. There were 1,010 housing units at an average density of 518.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.48% White, 0.07% African American, 1.58% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.43% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.60% of the population. There were 930 households out of which 46.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 20.2% were non-families.
18.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.74. In the city, the population was spread out with 38.1% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 20.6% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $32,844, the median income for a family was $37,163. Males had a median income of $30,156 versus $22,500 for females; the per capita income for the city was $12,677. About 11.4% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over. Manti is located in the South Sanpete School District and has one elementary school, as well Manti High School, who have the Templars as their mascot and compete in the 3A level of competition.
Middle school students attend in Utah. Julia Christiansen Hoffman and arts patron, Oregon Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Hot-Rod art and pinstriping, notable for Rat Fink List of cities and towns in Utah Ephraim, Utah The Official Manti City website Mormon Miracle Pageant Historic Old City H
Mormonism is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 30s. After Smith was killed in 1844, most Mormons followed Brigham Young on his westward journey to the area that became the Utah Territory, calling themselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other sects include Mormon fundamentalism, which seeks to maintain practices and doctrines such as polygamy, other small independent denominations; the second-largest Latter Day Saint denomination, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, since 2001 called the Community of Christ, does not describe itself as "Mormon", but follows a Trinitarian Christian restorationist theology, considers itself Restorationist in terms of Latter Day Saint doctrine. The word Mormon derived from the Book of Mormon, a religious text published by Smith, which he said he translated from golden plates with divine assistance.
The book describes itself as a chronicle of early indigenous peoples of the Americas and their dealings with God. Based on the book's name, Smith's early followers were more known as Mormons, their faith Mormonism; the term was considered pejorative, but Mormons no longer consider it so. Mormonism has common beliefs with the rest of the Latter Day Saint movement, including the use of and belief in the Bible, in other religious texts including the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, it accepts the Pearl of Great Price as part of its scriptural canon, has a history of teaching eternal marriage, eternal progression and polygamy, although the LDS Church formally abandoned the practice of plural marriage in 1890. Cultural Mormonism, a lifestyle promoted by Mormon institutions, includes cultural Mormons who identify with the culture, but not the theology. Mormonism originated in the 1820s in western New York during a period of religious excitement known as the Second Great Awakening. After praying about which denomination he should join, Joseph Smith, Jr. said he received a vision in the spring of 1820.
Called the "First Vision", Smith said God the Father instructed him to join none of the existing churches because they were all wrong. During the 1820s Smith reported several angelic visitations, was told that God would use him to re-establish the true Christian church, that the Book of Mormon would be the means of establishing correct doctrine for the restored church. Smith, Oliver Cowdery, other early followers, began baptizing new converts in 1829. Formally organized in 1830 as the Church of Christ. Smith was seen by his followers as a modern-day prophet. Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was translated from writing on golden plates in a reformed Egyptian language, translated with the assistance of the Urim and Thummim and seer stones. Both the special spectacles and the seer stone were at times referred to as the "Urim and Thummim", he said an angel first showed him the location of the plates in 1823, buried in a nearby hill, but he was not allowed to take the plates until 1827. Smith began dictating the text of The Book of Mormon around the fall of 1827 until the summer of 1828 when 116 pages were lost.
Translation began again in April 1829 and finished in June 1829, saying that he translated it "by the gift and power of God". Oliver Cowdery acted as scribe for the majority of the translation. After the translation was completed, Smith said. During Smith's supposed possession few people were allowed to "witness" the plates; the book described itself as a chronicle of an early Israelite diaspora, integrating with the pre-existing indigenous peoples of the Americas, written by a people called the Nephites. According to The Book of Mormon, Lehi's family left Jerusalem at the urging of God c. 600 BC, sailed to the Americas c. 589 BC. The Nephites are described as descendants of the fourth son of the prophet Lehi; the Nephites are portrayed as having a belief in Christ hundreds of years before his birth. Historical accuracy and veracity of the Book of Mormon continues to be hotly contested. No archaeological, linguistic, or other evidence of the use of Egyptian writing in ancient America has been discovered.
To avoid confrontation with New York residents, the members moved to Kirtland and hoped to establish a permanent New Jerusalem or City of Zion in Jackson County, Missouri. However, they were expelled from Jackson County in 1833 and fled to other parts of Missouri in 1838. Violence between the Missourians and church members resulted in the governor of Missouri issuing an "extermination order," again forcing the church to relocate; the displaced Mormons fled to a small town called Commerce. The church bought the town, renamed it Nauvoo, lived with a degree of peace and prosperity for a few years. However, tensions between Mormons and non-Mormons again escalated, in 1844 Smith was killed by a mob, precipitating a succession crisis; the largest group of Mormons accepted Brigham Young as the new prophet/leader and emigrated to what became the Utah Territory. There, the church began the open practice of plural marriage, a form of polygyny which Smith had instituted in Nauvoo. Plural marriage became the faith's most sensational characteristic during the 19th century, but vigorous opposition by the United States Congress threatened the church's existence as a legal institution.
Further, polygamy was a major cause for the opposition to Mormonism in the states of Idaho and Arizona. In the 1890 Manifesto, church president Wilford Woodruff announced the official end of plural marriage; because of t
Manitou Mineral Springs
Manitou Mineral Springs are natural mineral springs in Manitou Springs and Cheyenne Spring House is on the National Register of Historic Places. The springs are located in one of the country's largest National Historic Districts. Manitou Springs called "Saratoga of the West", was established as a resort community, known for its mineral springs and "spectacular setting" at the edge of the Rocky Mountains and the base of Pikes Peak; the spring water of Manitou Springs originates from two sources. "Deep-seated waters" of Rampart Range and Ute Pass provide one source of mineral water. Water below the surface is run through cavernous drainage systems called karst aquifers. Limestone in the water dissolves and resulting carbonic acid, or carbon dioxide, make the water "effervescent"; the water rises to the surface naturally. This process is an artesian process where as water rises through layers of rock it picks up minerals and soda, or sodium bicarbonate; some of the spring water comes from "surface" waters from the watershed basins of Fountain Creek and Williams Canyon.
Each spring has a different mineral content and because of a different taste. The town has several mineral springs, called manitou for the "breath of the Great Spirit Manitou" believed to have created the bubbles, or "effervescence", in the spring water; the springs were considered sacred grounds where Native Americans drank and soaked in the mineral water to replenish and heal themselves. Ute, Arapaho and other plains tribes came to the area, spent winters there, "share in the gifts of the waters without worry of conflict." There were 10 natural springs. As whites moved in there were "skirmishes" for access to the historical resort area until the Native Americans were removed from the area and placed on reservations. Explorer Stephen Harriman Long made note of the water's healing properties in 1820, his expedition's botanist and geologist, Edwin James, noted the healing benefits of the water. George Frederick Ruxton wrote of the "boiling waters" in a book about his travels. Recognizing the extent to which Native Americans considered the site to be sacred, Ruxton wrote: "…the basin of the spring was filled with beads and wampum, pieces of red cloth and knives, while the surrounding trees were hung with strips of deer skin and moccosons."Forty-eight years a plan for a health resort was developed by Dr. William Abraham Bell and William Jackson Palmer, a general during the Civil War: "They had a vision of dreamy summer villas nestled in the mountains, with grand hotels and landscaped parks clustered around the springs."
Railroad transportation brought people into first called Fountain Colony and La Font. The town wasn't built at envisioned by the two men and homes were built in the town, it became the first resort town in the state. In 1873 Henry McAllister, a developer working for Palmer, touted the medicinal benefits of the springs and that Manitou Springs had the necessary components of a successful spa resort, including "incomparable climate and scenery". Medical practitioners, such as Dr. Edwin Solly, promoted the health benefits of the "pure air" and sunny Rocky Mountain climate as the "world's best suited therapeutic environment" for the treatment of tuberculosis, he believed in the benefits of mineral spring water which drew tourists and the infirm people with tuberculosis, to the area. Some springs were enclosed. One of the enclosures, in red sandstone and under a "conical roofed structure", is the Cheyenne Spring House. There were springs after the turn of the century. Since more were enclosed. After a period when the town's popularity diminished, some springs were closed, capped or paved over.
The Mineral Springs Foundation was formed in 1987 to restore some of the springs and promote the benefits of the town's spring water. Walking tours of the town's springs are called "Springabouts". Manitou Springs water was sold "worldwide"; the 7 Minute Spring was drilled near the former Manitou House Hotel in 1909. Every 7 minutes a geyser erupted. In 1993 a park was developed surrounding a newly drilled spring. Don Green, Maxine Green, Bill Burgess collaborated on two fonts at the spring. Cheyenne Spring House, near the Navajo Spring and the Spa, was built in the 1890s of red sandstone, it is a soda spring. Like the Navajo Spring, it has a high overall mineral content, but not an high content of any specific minerals; the building was constructed by the Manitou Mineral Water company. Its sweet water comes from limestone aquifers thought to be more than 20,000 years old and located about one mile below the surface; the spring's water is available to the public in the bronze sculpture by Paul Rogers that stands a few feet from the spring house.
The Iron Spring Geyser was drilled on Ruxton Avenue in 1910 by Joseph Hiestand to increase the availability of iron-rich mineral water known as a chalybeate water, in the town. The spring water contains a high content of fluoride, silica and potassium. In the 1880s "health seekers" stopped at the spring during their daily walk; the spring would erupt every 45 minutes and shoot up to 7 feet into the air. It was located in the Navajo Geyser Pavilion; the spring, owned was restored in 2006, but ceased to flow in years. There is now no sign of the Spring in the Manitou Outpost store building where the guide's photo displayed it; the spring was plugged and a sidewalk was paved over it. The spring was renovated into the hand pump that exists today. Native Americans and early settlers came to the Navajo Spring along the Ute Trail to take the water believed to have healing powers
Cañon Pintado, meaning painted canyon, is an archaeological site of Native American rock art located in the East Four Mile Draw, 10.5 miles south of Rangely in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. Led by Ute guides, the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, Spanish missionaries in search of a route to California in 1776, passed through this region as they moved north and west into Utah; the first Europeans to the area, they named it Cañon Pintado, meaning "painted canyon". The rock art was made by people of the Fremont culture and the Ute. No one has been able to positively identify the significance of the paintings, they were made to mark significant events or for religious purposes; the Fremont people were described in a Rangely Museum brochure:The Fremont people built villages, farmed the valley areas and on high points located watchtowers. In hidden places on the cliffs are still found cisterns and granaries where they stored corn and seeds. Petroglyphs of corn stalks are at a number of these sites; the Utes hunted the area and used the valley until they were moved to a reservation in 1881.
There are many accessible rock art sites located just south of Rangely along Colorado Highway 139. However, there are thousands of well preserved sites in the immediate area, including numerous sites on County Road 23 and County Road 65. There is evidence; the markings may indicate the significance winter or summer solstice but more data is required to verify these results. Nearby are the following National Register of Historic Places listings in Rio Blanco County, all three are prehistoric Fremont culture sites:Prehistoric sites Collage Shelter Site - dated from 500 - 1499 AD. Carrot Men Pictograph Site - dated from 500 - 1499 AD. Fremont Lookout Fortification Site - dated from 0 - 1499 AD. List of prehistoric sites in Colorado
The Timpanogos were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited a large part of central Utah—particularly, the area from Utah Lake eastward to the Uinta Mountains and south into present-day Sanpete County. In some accounts they were called the Timpiavat, Timpanogotzi, Timpannah and other names. During the mid-19th century, when Mormon pioneers entered the territory, the Timpanogos were one of the principal tribes in Utah based on population, area occupied and influence. Scholars have had difficulty identifying their language; the Timpanogos have been classified as Ute people. They may have been a Shoshone band. Nineteenth-century historian Hubert Howe Bancroft wrote in 1882 that the Timpanogos were one of four sub-bands of the Shoshone. Chief Walkara known as Chief Walker, was a noted mid-19th-century chief who led his people against Mormon settlers in the Walker War; the Shoshone and Ute shared a common genetic and linguistic heritage as part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
Most Timpanogos live on the Uintah Valley Reservation, established by executive order in 1861 and affirmed by congressional legislation in 1864, where they are counted with the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. In 2002, the Timpanogos won a federal case against the state in the Court of Appeals upholding their traditional rights to hunt and gather on the reservation; the court concluded that their relationship with the federal government was well-established, although they are not listed by the Department of the Interior as a federally-recognized tribe. They have submitted an application and documentation to the Department of the Interior seeking federal recognition as an independent tribe; the Timpanogos entered Utah as part of the southern Numic expansion around 1000 CE or in the subsequent central Numic Shoshonean expansion north and west from their Numic homelands in the Sierra Nevada. They were hunter-gatherers, living on fish and wild game caught by the men and cooked and processed by the women and on the seeds and roots of wild plants gathered and prepared by the women.
As part of their religion, in the mornings they gathered together and greeted the morning with song to express gratitude to the Creator. They were divided into each with its headman, spiritual leader and warrior; the clans would band together for specific purposes, such as hunting. There was no division of the land, people were free to travel to different villages, they developed an extensive trading network. The Timpanogos lived in the Wasatch Range around Mount Timpanogos, along the southern and eastern shores of Utah Lake of the Utah Valley and in Heber Valley, Uinta Basin and Sanpete Valley; the band around Utah Lake became dominant due to the area's food supply. During the spring spawning season at Utah Lake, the tribes hosted an annual fish festival. Timpanogos and Shoshone bands would come from 200 miles away to gather fish. At the festival there was dancing, trading, horse races and feasting, it was an opportunity for young people to find a mate from another clan, since exogamous marriage was required.
The shores of Utah Lake became a sacred meeting place for the Timpanogos and Shoshone tribes. The first known Europeans to enter this area were a Spanish expedition of Franciscan missionaries led by Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante; the Dominguez–Escalante Expedition of 1776 was trying to find a land route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Monterey, California. Two or three Timpanogos from the Utah Valley were guides for the party. On September 23, 1776, they entered the Utah Valley. Escalante documented the expedition in his journal, describing the people who lived around Utah Lake: Round about it are these Indians, who live on the abundant fish of the lake, for which reason the Yutas Sabuaganas call them Come Pescados. Besides this, they gather in the plain grass seeds from which they make atole, which they supplement by hunting hares and fowl of which there is great abundance here; the explorers named many geographic features in central Utah for the Timpanog tribe, who were led by Turunianchi.
The next recorded European visitor was Étienne Provost, a French-Canadian trapper who visited the Timpanog in October 1824. In 1826, American mountain man Jedediah Smith visited a camp along the Spanish Fork River with 35 lodges and about 175 people. By the time Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the Timpanogos were guided by Turunianchi's grandson, Walkara. Walkara led the tribe with a number of sub-chiefs, most of whom were his brothers: Chief Arapeen, Chief San-Pitch, Chief Kanosh, Chief Sowiette, Chief Tabby-To-Kwanah, Chief Grospean and Chief Amman. Brigham Young once called them a "royal line" of Indian chiefs, they had hereditary leadership through their clan. Parley P. Pratt explored the Utah Utah Lake; the first battle between settlers and Indians, known by the Americans as the Battle Creek massacre, occurred in early March 1849 at present-day Pleasant Grove, Utah. A company of 40 Mormon men went to the Utah Valley to persuade the Timpanogos to stop stealing cattle from the Salt Lake Valley.
Brigham Young ordered the Mormons "to take such measures as would put a final end to their depredations in future". The company went to the village of Little Chief
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