American Indians form hundreds of nations of great cultural and linguistic diversity which inhabit the continent continuously for thousands of years. They had adapted to the multitude of environments. They had lived and are still living in a frigid north and under the scorching southern sun. They make their lives in the great deserts, on the ocean coast, and in the fertile river valleys. They have wandered through great plains, high mountains, and deep forests. The accommodated their way of life and economies to the particular environments. They organized themselves in many distinct ways, performed their sacred rituals and transmitted their beliefs and knowledge about the world from generation to generation.
The arrival of European colonists had changed their lives forever. It shattered their cultures forcing them to reinvent themselves in order to endure and survive.
Currently over 6 million people in the United States call themselves American Indian. There are 573 tribes recognized by the federal government. Some live in 326 reservations, others moved to the big cities or small towns. They practice every profession. They are workers, farmers, lawyers, business man, teachers, doctors, artists. They organize themselves. They celebrate their cultures at powwows. The fight for survival of their languages, their cultures, their rights to the ancestral lands. They are still here.