EL Civics for ESL Students

American Indian Tribes

Civics, History, and Government
Crow Tribe

Blackfoot Indians

Shoshoni Indians and Teepees

CIVICS FACTS

1. November is National American Indian Heritage Month.

2. States with the largest American Indian populations are: California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico.

3. An Indian reservation is land that is managed by a Native American tribe. It is overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Laws on reservations can be different than the laws in the surrounding areas.

4. There are over 300 Indian reservations in the United States.

5. A little less than half of all American Indians live on reservations.

  • American Indians are also called Native Americans or Indians.
  • Indians lived in the Americas long before people from Europe arrived.
  • Scientists believe they may have traveled from Asia and Europe to the Americas by crossing the Bering Strait.
  • The name Indian was given by Christopher Columbus who thought he had reached East India.
  • Most Indians lived in tribes. A tribe is a group of people who share the same ancestors, customs, beliefs, and leaders.
  • Some tribes built chiefdoms, cities, and nations; others remained independent.
  • Tribes lived by gathering food, growing food, fishing, or hunting.
  • There were several types of Indian homes: tipis or teepees, wigwams or wickiups, and cliff dwellings or caves.
  • Millions of Indians were killed by European and African diseases and wars with American settlers and other countries.
  • The disease that killed the most Indians was smallpox.
  • The arrival of Europeans in the Americas brought about the end of most Indian populations and cultures.
  • Here is a list of some American Indian tribes:


  • 1. Cherokee
    2. Navajo
    3. Sioux
    4. Pueblo
    5. Apache
    6. Blackfoot
    7. Crow
    8. Huron
    9. Hopi, and more.

  EL Civics >>

Copyrights to the pictures and photos on this ESL lesson and EL Civics website belong to individual photographers. We have purchased the rights to use them. Do not copy the pictures and photos on this site. Permission is granted to copy any of the worksheets for classroom use. Permission is granted to link to any page of this educational website. Contact Christina Niven, ESL teacher, at christina@elcivics.com. Please send corrections, comments, greetings, and requests for new lessons. Copyright © Christina Niven, 2007.