INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MIGRATION COLLECTION
The Indigenous Peoples U.S. Migration Collection is a work in progress that provides information and classroom resources on the complex and diverse migration history of indigenous people in North America. As it grows, the collection will include primary and secondary sources, with a rich selection of indigenous sources and stories. Despite centuries of displacement and oppression, indigenous people have continued to resist and maintain their cultures and traditions.
The migration history of indigenous people in North America spans thousands of years, including experiences of voluntary and forced migration. Over time, various indigenous groups developed distinct cultures, languages, and traditions across North America. Teaching this history well requires centering indigenous viewpoints with additional primary and secondary sources. We draw on the Re-Imagining Migration learning arc to frame our approach to this important history.
The arrival of Europeans in the 15th century marked a significant turning point in the history of indigenous peoples. The expansion of colonial settlements into indigenous territory and the founding and growth of the United States led to many Native American communities being driven from their ancestral homelands. Many indigenous communities were moved, renamed, combined, dispersed, and, in some cases, destroyed.
Despite centuries of displacement and oppression, indigenous people have continued to resist and maintain their cultures and traditions. According to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC:
- The 2020 U.S. Census listed the American Indian and Alaska Native population as 3.7 million people. The 2020 census allowed people to describe themselves as being of more than one race. As a result, 9.2 million people identified themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native in combination with other races.
- The 2016 Canadian Census reported 1,673,780 Indigenous people in Canada.
- Native people of Latin America do not have the same kind of relationships with local and federal governments that tribes in the United States have, so Native populations there can only be calculated approximately. The United Nations estimates that about 50 million people in Latin America today identify as Indigenous, with the largest populations being in Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru.
We offer resources to help you address this history with your students.
Please suggest additional resources to help us grow this collection.