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They lived without horses for thousands of years, maintaining a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and when the European settlers finally introduced them to horses sometime before 1730, they were thought to be sacred animals and a gift from the heavens.Each of these tribes were fiercely independent, with much emphasis being put on a man's ability to hunt and provide for his family.Criticism of the neologism Native American, however, comes from diverse sources.Some American Indians have misgivings about the term Native American.To the extreme left is Chief Lone Elk, Sioux, and in the center is Chief Red Cloud, the fierce war chief of the Sioux, fiery orator and bitter enemy of the whites.To the right is Chief Hard Heart, another noted Sioux warrior.Because of the widespread acceptance of this newer term in and outside of academic circles, some people believe that "Indians" is outdated or offensive.People from India (and their descendants) who are citizens of the United States are known as Indian Americans.

These other indigenous peoples, including Arctic/Alaskan Native groups such as the Yupik, Eskimos, and Aleuts, are not always counted as Native Americans, although Census 2000 demographics listed "American Indian and Alaskan Native" collectively. The Northeastern tribes such as the Algonquin and the Huron, which both led very similar lifestyles and enjoyed a lucrative fur trade with the French.

A Glimpse at the Indian Congress 1901 - There are 42 tribes of North American Indians represented in the Indian Congress.

Three of the most noted chiefs are seen in this group.

After countless centuries of oral traditions being passed on, the Blackfoot, Pawnee and the Sioux were extremely adept at being successful warriors.

The Pueblo Indians, such as the Zuni and Hopi tribes, of the southwest were more peaceful people, making decorative pottery for their food supplies, which consisted greatly of wild rice, corn, and squash.

The Great Basin tribes such as the Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute all shared similar family values and religious rituals, often living in large extended family groups and putting an emphasis on story-telling and oral tradition.

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