Enrichment Materials: Pre-European Contact
These enrichment materials build upon concepts introduced in US History and Advanced US History courses. They incorporate and link perspectives from a wide array of peoples during this time period.
Most of Native history has been passed down through oral tradition, so not many records exist that detail in writing the experiences of Native Americans before European contact. However, their oral tradition has survived into the modern-day, allowing the modern historian a relative scope into life in America before the Europeans.
Recognizing and honoring the rich culture of Indigenous peoples is the duty of each and every one of us. Understanding that the land we live on is stolen - and respecting the indigenous tribes still active today - is an integral role that comes along with being an American citizen.
America gained its name from a Spanish colonizer, Amerigo Vespucci, who disrespected many Indigenous rites and traditions upon his arrival on this land. Thus, to the Indigenous, this land is not America; it is Turtle Island, a name derived from Indigenous folklore.