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Native American Tribes

Many people do not realize how vast a number of Native Americans there were prior to European invasion of the Americas. In a research paper on Native American Tribes, students will need to narrow their topic focus greatly. There are many ways to approach research, such as dividing the tribes by region or just focus on one tribe. To help students divide their topic on native American tribes, Paper Masters outlines them here for you.

The tribes of the Northeast were:

Native American Tribes
  • Abenaki
  • Iroquois
  • Lenape
  • Massachusetts
  • Miami
  • Pequo
  • Powhatan
  • Shawnee

The tribes lived on land that was located in the northeast part of the country. This area stretched from the Atlantic Ocean and west to the Appalachian Mountains and from the Great Lakes to the area that is now present day Virginia and North Carolina. The tribes of the Northeast were hunters, gatherers, and farmers. According to the National Congress of American Indians, they depended on the forests in the area for the lumber to create shelter and tools.

The tribes of the Southeast were:

This area covers the land in present day states of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The tribes in this area were primarily farmers. They also were hunters, gatherers, and fishermen. The Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole were known as the Five Civilized Tribes.

The tribes of the Plains were:

  • Arapaho
  • Cheyenne
  • Comanche
  • Crow
  • Pawnee
  • Sioux

These tribes were located in the area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. These tribes are characterized by their nomadic lifestyle. They were primarily buffalo hunters.

The tribes of the Southwest were:

The land where they lived extended from present day Colorado to Utah and Arizona to New Mexico. They livid in desert like, arid land. They were nomadic hunters and farmers.

The Tribes of the Great Basin were:

  • Palute
  • Shoshone
  • Ute.

They lived in the Great Basin desert region. Since they lived in a very hot, dry region these tribes were known as diggers because they were foragers and ate anything they could find that was edible. Some of the tribes of the Plateau were the Nez Percé and Yakima. They were primarily fisherman and lived off the local rivers.

Some of the most well known tribes of the Northwest Coast were:

  • Haida
  • Chinook
  • Tillamook
  • Chimakum

They lived on the land that is now the northern part of California, Oregon, and Washington. These tribes lived off the resources of the ocean and forests. They were also shipbuilders.

Some of the most well known tribes of the California tribes were:

They lived in the land that is now California and down into Mexico. They lived much like their Great Basin neighbors.

The tribes of the Subarctic are divided into the Athapascans and Algonquians. They were nomadic hunters and had to deal with the harsh winter weather of their land that extended from Canada into Alaska. The Arctic were tribes are known as the Inuits, Aleuts, and the Eskimos. They had to adapt to the harsh winter climate of Northern Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. They were also hunters and fishermen.


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