" I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls." - Ten Bears, Comanche Chief
When explorers came to the America's they discovered hundreds of Indian Tribes inhabiting the continent. All of these Nations were considered as individual sovereign entities and were treated as such by European governments as per their laws.
Federally Recognized Tribes as they are known today represent those groups of people who have established a trust relationship with the US Government.
There are also many groups known as Non Recognized Petitioning Tribes that currently seek to establish formal relations with the U.S.
Colonial governments and later the United States treated with the indigenous people as they did with foreign countries and allowed them to regulate their own affairs.
The young United States made agreements with hundreds of tribes, exchanging lands for payments and access rights. Treaties are defined as legally binding contracts between parties that cannot be changed or cancelled without consent by all concerned.
These peoples were recognized as separate, sovereign entities and treaties established distinct boundaries between villages and colonial territories.
Tribal nations were not conquered by the U.S. armed forces, as many believe. Rather, lands were obtained through negotiation and contractual consent. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 declared: "The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent"
As time went on, however, the Europeans claimed dominion over all the territories of the future United States and those claims began to encroach on the rights of the people living there.
As the United States grew in size and power, additional land was required for settlement and development. The U.S. began a policy of Indian removal, which was in effect from 1816 to 1846. Through treaties and coercion the government actively, and sometimes forcibly, removed indigenous peoples to areas west of the Mississippi River.
Eventually this plan resulted in termination of many Tribes through a policy of bribes and legal coercion and unjust court rulings that favored government interests.
This genocidal plan of forced removal that resulted in the death of countless untold numbers of people that scattered families from one end of heaven to the other and has resulted in millions of folks living today who are of Native descent who has only stories and legends concerning their ancestral history.
In an attempt to educate others concerning our history, we offer the following resource to aid those who have a desire to learn where the Nations lived prior to colonization of the continent to give accurate understanding of just where traditional lands were located prior to the coming of the white man.
Please visit the above map of North America showing the locations of our people from around the year of 1650 AD.