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indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian
inhabitants of the Americas, their descendants,
and many ethnic groups who identify with those
peoples. They are often also referred to as Native
Americans, First Nations and by Christopher Columbus'
historical mistake "Indians", modernly
disambiguated as "American Indians",
"Amerindians" or "Amerinds".
to the still debated New World migration model,
a migration of humans from Eurasia to the Americas
took place via Beringia, a land bridge which formerly
connected the two continents across what is now
the Bering Strait. The minimum time depth by which
this migration had taken place is confirmed at
c. 12,000 years ago, with the upper bound (or
earliest period) remaining a matter of some unresolved
contention. These early Paleoamericans soon spread
throughout the Americas, diversifying into many
hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes.
According to the oral histories of many of the
indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have
been living there since their genesis, described
by a wide range of traditional creation accounts.
of the term "Indian" originated with
Christopher Columbus, who thought that he had
arrived in the East Indies, while seeking India.
This has served to imagine a kind of racial or
cultural unity for the aboriginal peoples of the
Americas. Once created, the unified "Indian"
was codified in law, religion, and politics. The
unitary idea of "Indians" was not originally
shared by indigenous peoples, but many now embrace
some indigenous peoples of the Americas were historically
hunter-gatherers, many practiced aquaculture and
agriculture. The impact of their agricultural
endowment to the world is a testament to their
time and work in reshaping, taming, and cultivating
the flora indigenous to the Americas. Some
societies depended heavily on agriculture while
others practiced a mix of farming, hunting, and
gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples
created monumental architecture, large-scale organized
cities, chiefdoms, states, and massive empires.
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and the environment
and Indigenous Media Directory