1. What is the number of states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Natives as of July 1, 2008? Answer: 11 States have more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents as of July 1, 2008. This includes the following states:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
2. How many of the 50 states have American Indian names? Answer: 27 States have American Indian names. Here are the names along with their translations:
- Alabama – Thicket Clearers
- Alaska – Great Land
- Arizona – Silver Slabs
- Arkansas – Down Stream People
- Connecticut – Upon The Long River
- Dakota – Related People
- Idaho – Sunrise, It Is Morning
- Illinois – Men Or Great Men
- Indiana – Land Of The Indians
- Iowa – Drowsy People
- Kansas – People Of The South Wind
- Kentucky – Hunting Ground
- Massachusetts – Great Hill
- Michigan – Great Water
- Minnesota – Sky Tinted Water
- Mississippi – Father Of Water
- Missouri – Long Canoe People
- Nebraska – Flat Water
- New Mexico – Aztec God Mexitili
- Ohio – Beautiful Valley
- Oklahoma – Land Of The Red Man
- Oregon – Beautiful Water
- Tennessee – From Chief Tannassie
- Texas – Tejas Or Allies
- Utah – Those Who Dwell High Up
- Wisconsin – Where Waters Gather
- Wyoming – Great Plain
3 According to the 2010 U.S. Census, what are the three largest American Indian tribes? Answer: Navajo (308,010), Cherokee (285,476), Sioux (131,048). By the way, Native Americans are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States right now. Even so, at a total population of 5.2 million, they only represent about 1.7% of the entire population of the United States. It is estimated, however, that because of their rapid growth, there will be approximately 8.6 million Natives in the year 2050, comprising 2% of the entire U.S. population.
4. Which of these plants was NOT cultivated by American Indians? Answer: Beets. Corn, squash (such as pumpkin) and beans were known as the ‘Three Sisters.’ Often the three crops are planted close together in order to support each other. The corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, the beans add nitrogen to the soil, and the squash spreads along the ground, helping prevent weeds and trapping moisture. Today, gardeners who do “companion gardening” like to plant corn, squash/pumpkins and beans together.
5. If you are not feeling well, lots of remedies can help you. Which of these can you thank American Indians for discovering? (More than one answer) Answer: Echinacea and Aspirin. Echinacea was used by tribes as an antiseptic, an analgesic, and to treat poisonous insect and snakebites, toothaches, sore throat, wounds, and communicable diseases.
American Indians have been using willow tree bark for thousands of years to reduce fever and pain. When chemists analyzed willows in the last century, they discovered salicylic acid, which is the basis of the modern drug aspirin (and also used in lots of skin care products).
6. Can you guess which of these popular sports were created by American Indians? (More than one answer) Answer: Hockey and Lacrosse. Modern day lacrosse descends from games played by various American Indian communities who used a netted racquet to pick the ball off the ground, throw, catch, and convey it to or past a goal to score a point. Both field and ice hockey were played by many tribes throughout North America. The game was played with a frozen road apple or hardwood puck.
7. We can thank American Indians for which of these elementary school staples? Answer: Chewing Gum. American Indians chewed resin made from spruce trees sap. New England settlers picked up the practice, and teachers ever since then have been waging war against the practice of chewing gum in school.
8. Which of these words is NOT borrowed from a Native language? Answer: Squirrel has its origins in Greek. Barbecue, mahogany, and hurricane are just three of many words derived from American Indian languages.
9. What percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives 5 years and older speak a language other than English at home? Answer: 29% of American Indians and Alaska Natives 5 years and older speak a language other than English at home. Many Native languages are already lost, and many are in danger of extinction. Certain tribes are now making a concerted effort to keep their languages from being lost.
10. Which of these American food staples were invented by American Indians? (More than one answer) Answer: Maple Syrup and Corn Bread. American Indians have been tapping trees for syrup for generations. No one is sure how it began, although there are many legends associated with its discovery. Ground corn was part of the American Indian diet for thousands of years. The American Indians taught their original recipes for corn to the European settlers, who began incorporating corn meal into their traditional ways of bread making.