First Nations H-I

First Nations H-I

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Aleut and Inuit

Although Arctic peoples shared many ways of life, there were significant variations across the four main groups. In cultural terms, the Central Inuit practiced ways of life often considered typical for Arctic peoples. They lived in snow houses called igloos, traveled in lightweight skin boats called kayaks, and used sleds and dog teams. However, one Central Inuit group, the Caribou Inuit, were an inland people who hunted the animals for which they are named and fished freshwater lakes. Their way of life was similar to that of peoples of the Subarctic culture area. The Copper Inuit, another Central Inuit group, were unusual in that they used copper surface nuggets found in their territory to craft tools. The Inuit of southern Alaska had regular trade contacts with Athapaskan Subarctic peoples, among other Indians, and adopted some of their customs. The Aleut, because of their location on the Pacific Coast and frequent contact with coastal peoples to the south, exhibited some cultural traits similar to those found in the Northwest Coast culture area.Excerpts from Wikipedia and MSN Encarta




About 1390, today's State of New York became the stronghold of five powerful Indian tribes. They were later joined by another great tribe, the Tuscaroras from the south. Eventually the Iroquois, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas joined together to form the great Iroquois Nation. In 1715, the Tuscaroras were accepted into the Iroquois Nation. The Conferacy was made up of six groups: Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. They called themselves Iroquois. They were big rivals with the Algonquians. White men called this group the League of Six Nations.



The Houma Tribe is a band of Choctaw Indians who separated from the main body of the tribe and settled near the junction of the Red and Mississippi Rivers before the French explorer La Salle arrived in 1682. Because their war emblem is the saktce-ho’ma, or Red Crawfish, anthropologist John R. Swanton has speculated that the Houma are an offshoot of the Yazoo River region’s Chakchiuma tribe, whose name is a corruption of saktce-ho’ma. Individuals in the tribe maintained contact with other Choctaw communities even after settling in lower Lafourche-Terrebonne. It is not certain exactly how the Houma came to settle near the mouth of the Red River, formerly the River of the Houma. We only know that the French explorers found them at the site of present-day Angola, Louisiana, unaware that their lands would soon be part of the French colony of Louisiana. 


The Huron Indians were a proud Indian nation with a well-defined governmental system. The Huron nation was divided into sub-tribes or clans. Their history is filled with wars, which led to loss of territory and forced many sub-tribes to relocate to safer territory. The Huron were not nomadic tribes; they had many great villages each with its own government representative. The Huron lived in communal dwellings consisting of large log style homes . Most log houses ranged between 45-55 meters or 150- 180 ft long. They were made of slabs of bark over pole frames. The longest log house ever found measured 125m and was found in New York. During the peaceful years the Huron’s hunted and fished and used bows and arrows and spears. The Huron were able to catch almost anything they wanted to eat. They were a diverse group of people who lead a very diverse life and had a direct impact on the land and the people who inhabited it.

The Huron government was divided into a republican style of government; the larger villages were captains for peace during times of conflict, each large village had a well-defined jurisdiction. The tribes in the Huron nation each have their own distinct past and heritage. The Huron nation was divided into sub-tribes also called clans. The major sub-nations of the Huron are the Arendahronon (rock sub-tribe), the Attigneenongnahac (bear sub-tribe), the Attignawantan (cord sub-tribe), and the Tahontaenrat (deer sub-tribe). The Huron nation did not always exist in such peace and harmony. The history of the Huron depicts a once-proud Indian nation that suffered through many wars and lost many people and territory.