The First People of America

The United States was first inhabited thousands of years ago, long before the first settlers came over from Europe. The indigenous peoples of North America are known as Native Americans, and there are five main sections or tribes, all based on their location: Northwestern, California/Intermountain, Southwest, Plains, and the Eastern Woodland tribe. Many Americans today could perform a people search and discover that their ancestors may have come from one of the five Native American tribes. Every tribe had its own special culture, and all formed together to make up the first people of America.


The Eastern Woodland tribes resided in Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Florida, and many other Southern states. Some of the tribes within this region included the Cherokee, Seminole, and Chickasaw. Longhouses and wigwams were the most typical form of shelter. These homes were made of dried tree bark and leaves, and were stretched over a wooden frame. A small door was placed at the front of the home, and they were rather spacious inside for large families to dwell. Farming and fishing were paramount, and the tribes often ate various seafood species and grew their own beans, corn, and fruits. Some believe these tribes were the very first of the indigenous Native Americans.

  • Eastern Woodland – Information about how the tribes lived, cooked, and worked
  • Culture – Basic background on the tribes’ cultural ways
  • Crafts – Some of the crafts the tribes made, as well as some crafts you can make yourself