The Native Americans have contributed many of the things we use and do today.
|The Native Americans have contributed many things to our American way of life that we use today; for example-fine art work like turquoise jewelry, fantastic wood carvings, and beautiful bead work.
The Native Americans have also had an influence in other areas of our life. Some of these things were here long before the arrival of European settlers to North America.
Ecology was one of the most important aspects of Native American life. They were ecologists from the beginning. A lot of people are just now realizing this and are taking steps to follow what the Native Americans already knew. The Native Americans have always had a deep respect for the land, along with a love of every form of life. Some examples: they wouldn't kill anything that they couldn't use; they never killed for sport-fishing and hunting were their way of surviving; they lived in harmony with nature and never abused the natural world. The Anishinabbe people have a word for "conversation"; to them, it is an assumed way of life.
Many of the foods that we eat today were first grown by Native Americans. They learned to grow and use many different kinds of food-like potatoes, beans, corn, peanuts, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, peppers, nuts, melons, and sunflower seeds to name a few. They even helped European settlers survive in the New World by sharing their farming methods with them.
Did you know that many of the games and activities we play today came from the Native Americans? Games and activities like canoeing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, lacrosse, relay races, tug of war, and ball games. As a matter of fact, groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire groups and YMCA Guides participate in these games and activities that are based on Native American crafts and lore.
The United States Federal Government was an idea that was adopted from the Native Americans. Benjamin Franklin said that this idea was borrowed form the system used by the Iroquian League of Nations.
The Native Americans also gave us many of the words we use today; words such as barbecue, caribou, chipmunk, woodchuck, hammock, toboggan, skunk, mahogany, hurricane and moccasin. There are also many cities and rivers that have Native American origins-Seattle, Pocatello, Chinook, Milwaukee, Miami, and Kalispell.
The Native Americans developed and communicated with sign language, which was useful in trading and communicating with other tribes. This same idea is used today by those who are deaf and unable to speak; even though the signs may be different, the idea is the same.
During WWI, WWII, and other campaigns, many Native Americans served in various ways. Some of them weren't even United States citizens, but over 24,000 of them volunteered during WWII. One of their most notable contributions were the Navajo Code Talkers-a special group that did top secret work in which they used a code that couldn't be broken by the enemy.
There were many Native Americans that excelled in other fields too. Jim Thorpe-a sports figure; Johnny Bench played baseball; Johnny Cash played country music; and Will Rogers, who wrote many books.
The Native Americans placed emphasis and importance on: ecology-respect for Mother Earth; God-respect for the Great Spirit, generosity, sharing, honest leadership selection, bravery, courage, respect for the aged and family tradition; no religious animosity; no major wars-no Indian nation destroyed another Indian nation (there were thousands of years of peace before 1492); no drugs, alcohol, or ulcers; no poor, rich, insane asylums; no jails, prisons, lawyers, taxes or borders; no germ warfare (small pox infected the American Indians' blankets); no hydrogen bombs. The Native American have endured many moons.
Native Americans served as guides in the exploration of the hemisphere; their trails became roads and railroads. The log cabin was an adaption for the Indian log or longhouse. Indian village sites, located on waterways and trails, became trading posts for fur traders. The Native Americans assisted the European countries in struggle for the control of the new country.
It is important that everyone (children and adults alike) should be made aware of the information above, along with the fact that 60% of our food supply comes from the Native American agriculture; also, many Native American names can be found on maps; Native American art designs and styles have a strong influence on modern design, architecture, and music. Symbols like the totem pole, thunder bird, sun, tee pees, and color, have had a place in modern design. Fine clays, used in the making of pottery and china, have been passed to the white men, along with many plants that the Native Americans cultivated and developed-not only for food but also for medical purposes.
In summary, the Native Americans have contributed in numerous ways to our society as we know it today-from names, foods, sports, arts, colors and games.