Unit 1: Native Peoples of North America

The first Americans arrived in North America thousands of years ago. Early Native Americans were hunter-gatherers. Some early groups, like the Olmec and the Maya, settled in Central America and developed complex civilizations. These groups began farming and created their own calendars.

Groups such as the Inuit and Tlingit settled in the western part of North America. The Inuit settled in present-day Alaska and survived by hunting animals, such as walruses and seals. The Tlingit settled in the southern California desert. Native American groups in the Southwest had to adapt to a desert environment.

Native Americans on the Great Plains also found unique ways to adapt to the environment. By the 1700s, the Lakota, Crow, Pawnee, and other groups, used horses to hunt the bison that roamed the Plains. The Creek, Iroquois, and other people of the Eastern Woodlands hunted forest animals and grew crops. Native American groups from every region developed in different ways and adapted to their unique environments.