There are many groups of people in the world that have a rich and complex history to speak of. But perhaps none more so than Native Americans. These individuals and their tribes have suffered great loss throughout their history in North America both in terms of their land and history. These groups of people are often misunderstood and judged throughout North America, despite the fact we often don’t know much about them or what their ancestors have been through. Here are 12 interesting and amazing facts about Native Americans that you probably didn’t know, with number 8 being particularly interesting and terrible.
#12 The History of the Grand Teton National Park
This gorgeous National Park in Wyoming has a long and storied history among Native American people. A variety of different tribes have called the park home over the years and their settling there dates back over 11,000 years. This place was seen as a resort where people could hunt and gather in the warm summer months, to prep for the horribly cold and awful winters.
#11 The Death Penalty
Despite it not being their land, European settlers decided to apply their laws to the Native Americans in North America. This included the death penalty. The first execution of a Native American occurred in 1639 and since then, there have been nearly 500 executions carried out with the approval of the court system.
#10 The Trail of Tears
This is among the darkest times in U.S. History. The Trail of Tears refers to a massive forced removal of Native Americans from their land in the Southeastern United States. They were forced to walk and ride for days and days to their new homes all across the country, and thousands died of disease, starvation, and attacks along the way.
#9 The Story of Tecumseh
Tecumseh was a Native American leader who wasn’t going to sit idly by while the USA decimated his people. First, he opposed them in Tecumseh’s War and then in the War of 1812, the became an ally of the British. He is considered a hero among Native American and Canadian people for helping stop the USA from occupying even more land.
#8 Wounded Knee
This massacre took place on an Indian reservation in 1890 near Wounded Knee Creek. Soldiers went there to disarm the Lakota, but a small disagreement led to an unnecessary show of force by the military which led to around 300 deaths. The U.S. Government took a whopping 100 years to apologize for this massacre.