The Sacramento River is the principal river of Northern California in the United States, is the largest river in California. Rising in the Klamath Mountains, the river flows south for 400 miles before reaching the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay; the river drains about 26,500 square miles in 19 California counties within the fertile agricultural region bounded by the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada known as the Sacramento Valley, but extending as far as the volcanic plateaus of Northeastern California. Its watershed has reached as far north as south-central Oregon where the now endorheic Goose Lake experiences southerly outflow into the Pit River, the most northerly tributary of the Sacramento; the Sacramento and its wide natural floodplain were once abundant in fish and other aquatic creatures, notably one of the southernmost large runs of chinook salmon in North America. For about 12,000 years, humans have depended on the vast natural resources of the watershed, which had one of the densest Native American populations in California.
The river has provided a route for travel since ancient times. Hundreds of tribes sharing regional customs and traditions inhabited the Sacramento Valley, first coming into contact with European explorers in the late 1700s; the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga named the river Rio de los Sacramentos in 1808 shortened and anglicized into Sacramento. In the 19th century, gold was discovered on a tributary of the Sacramento River, starting the California Gold Rush and an enormous population influx to the state. Overland trails such as the California Trail and Siskiyou Trail guided hundreds of thousands of people to the gold fields. By the late part of the century mining had ceased to be a major part of the economy, many immigrants turned to farming and ranching. Many populous communities were established along the Sacramento River, including the state capital of Sacramento. Intensive agriculture and mining contributed to pollution in the Sacramento River, significant changes to the river's hydrology and environment.
Since the 1950s the watershed has been intensely developed for water supply and the generation of hydroelectric power. Today, large dams impound the river and all of its major tributaries; the Sacramento River is used for irrigation and serves much of Central and Southern California through the canals of giant state and federal water projects. While its now providing water to over half of California's population and supporting the most productive agricultural area in the nation, these changes have left the Sacramento modified from its natural state and have caused the decline of its once-abundant fisheries; the Sacramento River originates in the mountains and plateaus of far northern California as three major waterways that flow into Shasta Lake: the Upper Sacramento River, McCloud River and Pit River. The Upper Sacramento begins near Mount Shasta, at the confluence of North and South Forks in the Trinity Mountains of Siskiyou County, it flows east into Lake Siskiyou, before turning south. The river flows through a canyon for about 60 miles, past Dunsmuir and Castella, before emptying into Shasta Lake near Lakehead in Shasta County.
The McCloud River rises on the east slope of Mount Shasta and flows south for 77 miles through the southern Cascade Range parallel to the Upper Sacramento to reach the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake. The Pit River, by far the largest of the three, begins in Modoc County in the northeastern corner of California. Draining a vast and remote volcanic highlands area, it flows southwest for nearly 300 miles before emptying into Shasta Lake near Montgomery Creek. Goose Lake, straddling the Oregon–California border overflows into the Pit River during wet years, although this has not happened since 1881; the Goose Lake watershed is the only part of the Sacramento River basin extending into another state. Unlike most California rivers, the Pit and the McCloud Rivers are predominantly spring-fed, ensuring a large and consistent flow in the driest of summers. At the lower end of Shasta Lake is Shasta Dam, which impounds the Sacramento River for flood control and hydropower generation. Before the construction of Shasta Dam, the McCloud River emptied into the Pit River, which joined the Sacramento near the former mining town of Kennett, submerged when Shasta Lake was filled.
The Pit River Bridge, which carries Interstate 5 and the Union Pacific Railroad over the reservoir, is structurally the highest double-decked bridge in the United States. The Upper Sacramento River canyon provides the route for I-5 and the railroad between Lakehead and Mount Shasta. Below Shasta Dam, it flows through Keswick Dam, where it receives about 1,200,000 acre feet of water per year diverted from the Trinity River. It swings east through Redding, the largest city of the Shasta Cascade region, turns southeast, entering Tehama County. East of Cottonwood it receives Cottonwood Creek – the largest undammed tributary – from the west Battle Creek a short distance downstream. Below Battle Creek it carves its last gorge, Iron Canyon, emerging from the hills at Red Bluff, where a pumping station removes water for irrigation. Beyond Red Bluff the river reaches the low floodplain of the Sacramento Valley, receiving Mill Creek from the east and Thomes Creek from the west near Los Molinos Deer Creek from the east near Vina.
Southeast of Corni
The Yana are a group of Native Americans indigenous to Northern California in the central Sierra Nevada, on the western side of the range. Their lands, prior to invasion, bordered the Feather rivers, they were nearly destroyed during the California Genocide in the latter half of the 19th century. The Yana-speaking people comprised four groups: the North Yana, the Central Yana, the Southern Yana, the Yahi; the noun stem Ya- means "person". The Central and Southern Yana continue to live in California as members of Redding Rancheria; the anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber put the 1770 population of the Yana at 1,500, Sherburne F. Cook estimated their numbers at 1,900 and 1,850, while other estimates of the total Yana population before the Gold Rush exceed 3,000, they lived on wild game, fruit and roots. Their territory was 2400 square miles, or more than 6000 km2, contained mountain streams, boulder-strewn hills, lush meadows; each group had distinct boundaries and customs. After James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848, tens of thousands of gold-miners and ranchers flocked into Yana territory.
Yana territory was seized the lands around the Yuba and Feather rivers, where the Yana fished for salmon, a major source of food. The food supply dropped as gold mining damaged the streams and fish runs, deer fled the crowded area; the Yahi were the southernmost portion of the Yana. They were hunter-gatherers who lived in small egalitarian bands without centralized political authority, were reclusive and fiercely defended their territory of mountain canyons; the Yahi numbered around 400. The Yahi were the first Yana group to suffer from the Californian Gold Rush, as their lands were the closest to the gold mines, they suffered great population losses from the loss of their traditional food supplies and fought with the settlers over territory. Lacking firearms, they were destroyed by armed white settlers in multiple raids; the settlers were led by Indian hunter Robert Anderson, whose men launched two raids in 1865 which killed about seventy people combined. The massacre reduced the Yahi, who were suffering from starvation, to a population of less than 100.
On August 6, 1866, seventeen settlers raided a Yahi village at dawn. In the same year, more Yahis were massacred. Around 1867, thirty-three Yahis were killed after being tracked to a cave north of Mill Creek. Around 1871, four cowboys trapped and killed about thirty Yahis in Kingsley cave; the last known survivor of the Yahi was named Ishi by American anthropologists. Ishi had spent most of his life in hiding with his tribe members in the Sierra wilderness, emerging at the age of about 49, after the deaths of his mother and last relatives, he was the only Yahi known to European-Americans. Ishi emerged from the mountains near Oroville, California on August 29, 1911, having lived his entire life outside of the European-American culture. Professors from the University of California, Berkeley read about him and brought him to San Francisco both for study and for his protection. Called the "last wild Indian", he had been treated as a curiosity by the public. Under the auspices of the anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, director of the Museum of Anthropology, Ishi lived there until his death from tuberculosis in 1916.
His language was studied in 1911 by the linguist Edward Sapir, who had done work on the northern dialects. By tribal custom, he was not to reveal his name to an enemy. Rather, one would be introduced by a friend, the name could be offered. Since he was the last of his people, he had no friends, although he made some at the University of California. Tradition demanded. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley gave him the name Ishi, the Yana word for "man", he adopted the term "Mr. Ishi" when he learned enough English. Ishi worked as a research assistant at the Museum of Anthropology, he taught Saxton Pope, a professor at the medical school and his physician, how to make arrows and bows, to hunt with them. Pope is considered to be the "father" of modern bow hunting, as he published extensively on techniques. Yana language Yana traditional narratives Indigenous peoples of Sherburne F. 1976a. The Conflict Between the California White Civilization. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Cook, Sherburne F. 1976b. The Population of the California Indians, 1769–1970. University of California Press, Berkeley. Heizer, Robert F. and Theodora Kroeber. 1979. Ishi the Last Yahi: A Documentary History. University of California Press, Berkeley. Johnson, Jerald Jay. 1978. "Yana" in Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 8, pp. 361–369. Robert F. Heizer, ed. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 0-16-004578-9/ISBN 0160045754. Kroeber, A. L. 1925. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 78. Washington, D. C. Kroeber, Theodora. 1961. Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America. University of California Press, Berkeley. Sapir, Edward. "Yana Texts", University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 1, no. 9. Berkeley: University Press. Ishi: The Last Yahi, documentary, IMDB Stephen Powers, "Yana and local groups", Overland Monthly Journal, 1875, online at University of Michigan Map: "Native Tribes, Language Families, Dialects of California region in 1770", California Prehistory
Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
The Round Valley Indian Reservation is a federally recognized Indian reservation lying in northern Mendocino County, United States. A small part of it extends northward into southern Trinity County; the total land area, including off-reservation trust land, is 93.939 km². More than two-thirds of this area is off-reservation trust land, including about 405 acres in the community of Covelo; the total resident population as of the 2000 census was 300 persons. The Round Valley Indians consists of the Covelo Indian Community; this community is an accumulation of people from several tribes: the Yuki, who were the original inhabitants of Round Valley, Concow Maidu, Little Lake and other Pomo, Cahto and Pit River peoples. They were forced onto this remnant of the land occupied by the Yuki tribe; the Round Valley Indian Reservation began in 1856 as the Nome Cult Farm, an administrative extension of the Nome Lackee Reservation located on the Northwestern edge of the Sacramento Valley, one of the five reservations in California legislated by the United States Government in 1852.
The system of Indian reservations had a dual purpose: to protect Indians by segregating them from the settlers converging on California in greater and greater numbers. When the reservation was established, the Yuki people of Round Valley were forced into a difficult and unusual situation, their traditional homeland was not taken over by settlers as in other parts of California. Instead, a small part of it was reserved for their use as well as the use of other Indians, many of whom were enemies of the Yuki; the Yuki had to share their home with strangers who spoke other languages, lived with other beliefs, who used the land and its products differently. Indians came to Round Valley; the word "drive" used at the time, is descriptive of the practice of "rounding up" Indians and "driving" them like cattle to the reservation where they were "corralled" by high picket fences. Such drives took place in all weather and seasons, the elderly and sick did not survive. From years of intermarriage, a common lifestyle, a shared land base, a unified community emerged.
The descendants of Yuki, Concow Maidu, Little Lake and other Pomo, Cahto, Pit River peoples formed a new tribe on the reservation, the Covelo Indian Community to be called the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Their heritage is a rich combination of different cultures with a common reservation experience and history. Between July, 1856, when Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Thomas J. Henley, requested official designation of the valley as Nome Cult farm, the granting of his request in 1858, Round Valley filled with farms and ranches despite its reservation status. Relations between the various Indian groups and White employees of the reservation reached a state of extreme hostility. Bloodshed became a frequent occurrence. Superintendent Henley requested. Late in 1858, a company of the U. S. Army departed Benicia for Mendocino County. Due to inclement weather, the march was forced to halt at Fort Weller in Redwood Valley, but Lieutenant Edward Dillon was sent ahead with a party of seventeen men to occupy the barracks in Round Valley.
Fort Wright was established in December 1862, on the western edge of the Valley. The soldiers were to protect the Indians from White attacks but soon, as part of the Bald Hills War, were deployed to capture Indians throughout the area and bring them to confinement on the Reservation. President Ulysses S. Grant formally established the Round Valley Indian Reservation by Executive Order on March 30, 1870, pursuant to the Four Reservations Act of 1864. Life on the Round Valley Reservation has since been affected by much government legislation. Two of the most significant impacts were from the Dawes Act of 1887 known as the Allotment Act, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, known as the IRA; the Allotment Act caused the Reservation to be subdivided in 1894 into five and 10-acre plots which were distributed to families. By assigning specific pieces of land to individuals, the Act opened the door to private land ownership for Indians. Although the land was allotted, it was still held in trust by the government.
However, in 1920, allotees were allowed to "fee patent" their land: to receive a deed to it by giving up its trust status and accompanying benefits, such as freedom from taxation. Some Round Valley People lost their land as a result. Either they were unable to pay the new taxes on it or they sold it to whites or other Indians for the cash. Others prospered by establishing stock-raising operations, they leased extra land and raised garden vegetables, hay and cattle. In 1934, the United States Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act. In the interests of promoting self-government, only those Indian organizations consisting of elected councils, rather than those based on cultural traditions, were recognized as tribes by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Indians of Round Valley jointly elected a tribal council and wrote a constitution both of which still function. Along with this alteration in tribal management, a whole range of new regulations intended to halt the loss of land from the Indian Community was instituted.
The IRA repealed the Allotment Act and Indians on the Reservation were deprived of the legal ability to buy and sell land, hold deeds and to take out loans. The land was put back into trust status and trust land could not be used as security; when fi
Indigenous peoples of California
The indigenous peoples of California are the indigenous inhabitants who have lived or live in the geographic area within the current boundaries of California before and after the arrival of Europeans. With over forty groups seeking to be federally recognized tribes, California has the second largest Native American population in the United States; the California cultural area does not conform to the state of California's boundaries. Many tribes on the eastern border with Nevada are classified as Great Basin tribes, some tribes on the Oregon border are classified as Plateau tribes. Tribes in Baja California who do not cross into California are classified as indigenous peoples of Mexico. Before European contact, native Californians spoke over 300 dialects of 100 distinct languages; the large number of languages has been related to the ecological diversity of California, to a sociopolitical organization into small tribelets with a shared "ideology that defined language boundaries as unalterable natural features inherent in the land"."The majority of California Indian languages belong either to localized language families with two or three members or are language isolates."
Of the remainder, most are Athapaskan languages. Larger groupings have been proposed; the Hokan superstock has been most difficult to demonstrate. There is evidence suggestive that speakers of the Chumashan languages and Yukian languages, languages of southern Baja California such as Waikuri, were in California prior to the arrival of Penutian languages from the north and Uto-Aztecan from the east predating the Hokan languages. Wiyot and Yurok are distantly related to Algonquian languages in a larger grouping called Algic; the several Athapaskan languages are recent arrivals, no more recent than about 2000 years ago. Evidence of human occupation of California dates from at least 19,000 years ago. Prior to European contact, California Indians had 500 distinct sub-tribes or groups, each consisting of 50 to 500 individual members; the size of California tribes today are small compared to tribes in other regions of the United States. Prior to contact with Europeans, the California region contained the highest Native American population density north of what is now Mexico.
Because of the temperate climate and easy access to food sources one-third of all Native Americans in the United States were living in the area of California. Early Native Californians were hunter-gatherers, with seed collection becoming widespread around 9,000 BC. Due to the local abundance of food, tribes tilled the soil. Two early southern California cultural traditions include the La Jolla Complex and the Pauma Complex, both dating from ca. 6050—1000 BC. From 3000 to 2000 BC, regional diversity developed, with the peoples making fine-tuned adaptations to local environments. Traits recognizable to historic tribes were developed by 500 BC; the indigenous people practiced various forms of sophisticated forest gardening in the forests, mixed woodlands, wetlands to ensure availability of food and medicine plants. They controlled fire on a regional scale to create a low-intensity fire ecology. By burning underbrush and grass, the natives revitalized patches of land and provided fresh shoots to attract food animals.
A form of fire-stick farming was used to clear areas of old growth to encourage new in a repeated cycle. Different tribes encountered non-native European explorers and settlers at different times; the southern and central coastal tribes encountered Spanish and British explorers in the mid-16th century. Tribes such as the Quechan or Yuman Indians in present-day southeast California and southwest Arizona first encountered Spanish explorers in the 1760s and 1770s. Tribes on the coast of northwest California, like the Miwok and Yokut, had contact with Russian explorers and seafarers in the late 18th century. In remote interior regions, some tribes did not meet non-natives until the mid-19th century; the Spanish began their long-term occupation in California in 1769 with the founding of Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego. The Spanish built 20 additional missions in California, their introduction of European invasive plant species and non-native diseases resulted in unintended havoc and high fatalities for the Native Californian tribes.
The population of Native California was reduced by 90% during the 19th century—from more than 200,000 in the early 19th century to 15,000 at the end of the century due to disease. Epidemics swept through California Indian Country, such as the 1833 malaria epidemic. Early to mid 19th Century, coastal tribes of northwest California had multiple contacts with Russian explorers due to Russian colonization of the Americas. At that time period, Russian exploration of California and contacts with local population were associated with the activity of the Russian-American Company. A Russian explorer, Baron Ferdinand von Wrangell, visited California in 1818, 1833, 1835. Looking for a potential site for a new outpost of the company in California in place of Fort Ross, Wrangell’s expedition encountered the Indians north of San Francisco Bay and visited their village. In his notes Wrangell remarked that local women, used to physical labor, seemed to be of stronger constitution than men, whose main activity was hunting.
Local provision consisted of fish and products made of seeds and grains: usually
Jedediah Strong Smith, was a clerk, hunter, author and explorer of the Rocky Mountains, the North American West, the Southwest during the early 19th century. After 75 years of obscurity following his death, Smith was rediscovered as the American whose explorations led to the use of the 20-mile -wide South Pass as the dominant point of crossing the Continental Divide for pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Coming from a modest family background, Smith traveled to St. Louis and joined William H. Ashley and Andrew Henry's fur trading company in 1822. Smith led the first documented exploration from the Salt Lake frontier to the Colorado River. From there, Smith's party became the first United States citizens to cross the Mojave Desert into what is now the state of California but which at that time was part of Mexico. On the return journey and his companions were the first U. S. citizens to explore and cross the Sierra Nevada and the treacherous Great Basin Desert. In the following year and his companions were the first U. S. explorers to travel north from California to reach the Oregon Country.
Surviving three Native American massacres and one bear mauling, Jedediah Smith's explorations and documented travels were important resources to American westward expansion. In March 1831, while in St. Louis, Smith requested of Secretary of War John H. Eaton a federally funded exploration of the West, but to no avail. Smith informed Eaton. In May and his partners launched a planned para-military trading party to Santa Fe. On May 27, while searching for water in present-day southwest Kansas, Smith went missing, it was learned some weeks that he had been killed during an encounter with the Comanche – his body was never recovered. After his death, Smith's memory and his accomplishments were forgotten by Americans. At the beginning of the 20th century and historians made efforts to recognize and study his achievements. In 1918, a book by Harrison Clifford Dale was published covering Ashley-Smith western explorations. In 1935, Smith's summary autobiography was listed in a biographical dictionary. Smith's first comprehensive biography by Maurice S. Sullivan was published in 1936.
A popular Smith biography by Dale Morgan, published in 1953, established Smith as an authentic national hero. Smith's map of the West in 1831 was used by the U. S. Army, including western explorer John C. Frémont during the early 1840s. Smith was born in Jericho, now Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York, on January 6, 1799, to Jedediah, 1st and Sally Strong, both of whom were descended from families that came to New England from England during the Puritan emigration between 1620 and 1640. Smith received an adequate English instruction, learned some Latin, was taught how to write decently. Around 1810, Smith's father, who owned a general store, was caught up in a legal issue involving counterfeit currency after which the elder Smith moved his family west to Erie County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 13, Smith worked as a clerk on a Lake Erie freighter, where he learned business practices and met traders returning from the far west to Montreal; this work gave Smith an ambition for adventurous wilderness trade.
According to Dale L. Morgan, Smith's love of nature and adventure came from his mentor, Dr. Titus G. V. Simons, a pioneer medical doctor, on close terms with the Smith family. Morgan speculated that Simons gave the young Smith a copy of Meriwether Lewis's and William Clark's 1814 book of their 1804–1806 expedition to the Pacific, according to legend Smith carried this journal on all of his travels throughout the American West. Smith would provide Clark, who had become Superintendant of Indian Affairs, much information from his own expeditions into the West. In 1817, the Smith family moved westward again to Ohio and settled in Green Township in what is present-day Ashland County. Coming from a family of modest means, Smith struck out to make his own way, he may have left his family in search of a trade or employment a year prior to their settlement in Green Township. In 1822, Smith was living in St. Louis; the same year Smith responded to an advertisement in the Missouri Gazette placed by Gen. William H. Ashley.
General Ashley and Major Andrew Henry, veterans of the War of 1812, had established a partnership to engage in the fur trade and were looking for "One Hundred" "Enterprising Young Men" to explore and trap in the Rocky Mountains. Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Clark had granted Ashley-Henry license to trade with Native Americans in the Upper Missouri and he encouraged them to compete with the powerful British fur trade in the Pacific Northwest. Smith, now a 6-foot-tall, blue-eyed 23-year-old with a commanding presence, impressed General Ashley to hire him. In late spring, Smith started up the Missouri River on the keel boat Enterprize, which sank three weeks into the journey. Smith and the other men waited at the site of the wreck for a replacement boat and foraging for food. Ashley brought up another boat with an additional 46 men and upon proceeding upriver, Smith got his first glimpse of the western frontier, coming into contact with the Sioux and Arikara. On October 1, Smith reached Fort Henry at the mouth of the Yellowstone River, which had just been built by Major Henry and the men that he had led up earlier.
Smith and some other men continued up the Missouri to the mouth of the Musselshell River in central Montana, where they built a camp from which to trap through the winter. The next spring, Major Henry ordered Smith to go back down the Missouri to the Grand River to take a message to Ashley to buy horses f
In religious studies, an ethnic religion is a religion associated with a particular ethnic group. Ethnic religions are distinguished from universal religions which claim to not be limited in ethnic or national scope, such as Christianity, Buddhism or Jainism. Ethnic religions are not only independent religions; some localised denominations of global religions are practised by certain ethnic groups. For example, the Assyrians have a unique denominational structure of Christianity known as the Assyrian Church of the East. A number of alternative terms have been used instead of "ethnic" or "indigenous" religions; the term "primal religion" was coined by Andrew Walls in the University of Aberdeen in the 1970s to provide a focus on non-Western forms of religion as found in Africa and Oceania. Terms such as "primal religion," "primitive religion," and "tribal religion" have been contested by Walls' student, Jim Cox, who argues that such terms suggest an undeveloped religion which can be seen as a preparation for conversion to Christianity.
Cox prefers to use the term "indigenous religion."Another term, used is "folk religion." While "ethnic religion" and "folk religion" have overlapping uses, the latter term implies "the appropriation of religious beliefs and practices at a popular level." The term "folk religion" can therefore be used to speak of Chinese and African indigenous religions, but can refer to popular expressions of more multi-national and institutionalized religions such as Folk Christianity or Folk Islam. Ethnic religions are distinctive in their relationship with a particular ethnic group and in the shaping of one's solidarity with an ethnic identity; some ethnic religions include Judaism of the Jews, Druze religion of the Druze, Alawism of Alawites, Alevism of the Alevites, Mandaeanism of the Mandaeans, Yazidism of the Yazidis, Chinese folk religion of the Han Chinese, Shinto of the Japanese, A ƭat Roog of the Serer of Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania. Diasporic groups maintain ethnic religions as a means of maintaining a distinct ethnic identity the role of African traditional religion and Afro-American religions among the African diaspora in the Americas.
Some ancient ethnic religions, such as those found in pre-modern Europe, have found new vitality in neopaganism. Moreover, non-ethnic religions such as Christianity have been known to assume ethnic traits to an extent that they serve a role as an important ethnic identity marker, a notable example of this is the Serbian "Saint-Savianism" of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Animism Ancestor worship Endogamy Gavari List of ethnic religions List of Neopagan movements National god Shamanism Slava Totemism
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