Thousands of years of American Indian history are covered in this work, from the first migrations into North America, through the development of specific tribal identities, to the turbulent first centuries of encounters with European settlers up until 1800.
More than 500 Indian nations once existed in the lands that become the United States, many in what would become the American West. But conflicts with expansionist Americans were not the first threats to their sovereignty. For nearly 300 years before the birth of the United States, Indian nations clashed with colonizers from the West (Spain and France) and East (Russia).
American Indians in the Early West offers a concise guide to the development of American Indian communities, from the first migrations through the arrival of the Spanish, French, and Russians, to the appearance of Anglo-American traders in the easternmost portions of the West around 1800.
With coverage divided into periods and regions, American Indians in the Early West looks at how Indian communities evolved from hunter-gatherers to culturally recognized tribes, and examines the critical encounters of those tribes with non-Natives over the next two-and-a-half centuries. Readers will see that the issues at stake in those encounters—political control, preserving traditions, land and water rights, resistance to economic and military pressures—are very relevant to the Native American experience today.
• Images, diagrams, drawings, and photographs illustrate and photographs show the diversity of regional and cultural attributes of numerous American Indian tribes and their homelands
• Regional maps illuminate the diversity of topography of the Southwest, Plains, Plateau, Northwest, and Alaskan regions
• Provides the general reader and scholar with a guide to the precontact period of the American West in one concise volume, complete with images and primary evidence to illuminate varied experiences
• Includes coverage of major American Indian tribes of the early West as well as some that are less well known
• Sidebars provide short detailed analyses of major events in the development of American Indian history