Portal:Indigenous peoples of North America

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The indigenous peoples of North America are the indigenous peoples of the Americas living in North America before the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th century, their ancestors, and their descendents to the present day.


Aboriginal War Veterans memorial

Aboriginal people in Canada are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of present-day Canada. They comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have largely fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative.

As of the 2011 census, Aboriginal peoples in Canada totaled 1,400,685 people, or 4.3% of the national population, spread over 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands with distinctive cultures, languages, art, and music. National Aboriginal Day recognizes the cultures and contributions of Aboriginals to the history of Canada. First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of all backgrounds have become prominent figures and have served as role models in the Aboriginal community and help to shape the Canadian cultural identity. (Full article...)


Statue of Cuauhtemoc

Mexico, in the second article of its Constitution, is defined as a "pluricultural" nation in recognition of the diverse ethnic groups that constitute it and in which the indigenous peoples are the original foundation. According to the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples and the INEGI (official census institute), there are 15.7 million indigenous people in Mexico, of many different ethnic groups, which constitute 14.9% of the population in the country. The number of indigenous Mexicans is judged using the political criteria found in the 2nd article of the Mexican constitution. The Mexican census does not report racial-ethnicity but only the cultural-ethnicity of indigenous communities that preserve their indigenous languages, traditions, beliefs, and cultures. (Full article...)


Chief Joseph

Native Americans within the boundaries of the present-day United States (including indigenous peoples of Alaska and Hawaii) are composed of numerous, distinct tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The terms used to refer to Native Americans have been controversial. According to a 1995 U.S. Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as "American Indians" or simply "Indians"; this term has been adopted by major newspapers and some academic groups, but does not traditionally include Native Hawaiians or certain Alaskan Natives, such as Aleut, Yup'ik, or Inuit peoples. (Full article...)

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Community of igloos. (Illustration from Charles Francis Hall's Arctic Researches and Life Among the Esquimaux, 1865)

An igloo (Inuit language: iglu, Inuktitut syllabics ᐃᒡᓗ [iɣˈlu] (plural: igluit ᐃᒡᓗᐃᑦ [iɣluˈit]) or snowhouse is a type of shelter built of snow, originally built by the Inuit.

Although igloos are usually associated with all Inuit, they were predominantly constructed by people of Canada's Central Arctic and Greenland's Thule area. Other Inuit people tended to use snow to insulate their houses, which were constructed from whalebone and hides. Snow is used because the air pockets trapped in it make it an insulator. On the outside, temperatures may be as low as −45 °C (−49 °F), but on the inside the temperature may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) when warmed by body heat alone.

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Johnson Hall, Molly Brant's home from 1763 to 1774.

Molly Brant (c.1736 – April 16, 1796), also known as Mary Brant, Konwatsi'tsiaienni, and Degonwadonti, was a prominent Mohawk woman in the era of the American Revolution. Living in the Province of New York, she was the consort of Sir William Johnson, the influential British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, with whom she had eight children. Joseph Brant, who became an important Mohawk leader, was her younger brother.

After Johnson's death in 1774, Brant and her children returned to her native village of Canajoharie on the Mohawk River. A Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, she fled to British Canada, where she worked as an intermediary between British officials and the Iroquois. After the war, she settled in what is now Kingston, Ontario. In recognition of her service to the Crown, the British government gave Brant a pension and compensated her for her wartime losses.

Since 1994, Brant has been honored as a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada. She was long ignored or disparaged by historians of the United States, but scholarly interest in her increased in the late 20th century. She has sometimes been controversial, criticized for being pro-British at the expense of the Iroquois. A devout Anglican, she is commemorated on April 16 in the calendar of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church (USA). No portraits of her are known to exist; an idealized likeness is featured on a statue in Kingston and on a Canadian stamp issued in 1986.

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