Summary of Native American Tribes – A

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Summaries:  A  B  C  D  E-I  J-K  L-M  N  O  P  Q-R  S  T-V  W  X-Z



Aleut Village 1889

Aleut Village 1889

Aleut – The indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and Kamchatka Krai, Russia. Though they called themselves Unangan, meaning “coastal people,” they were called Aleut by Russian fur traders in the mid 18th century. Prior to outside influence there the Aleut were estimated to have numbered about 25,000 people. Violence and disease reduced them to only abut 1,500 by 1910. In the 1970’s there were about 2,000 Aleuts who could claim at least 1/4 Aleut blood. Today, more than 1,000 people claim to be of Aleut ancestry. While English and Russian are the dominant languages used by Aleuts living in the US and Russia respectively, the Aleut language is still spoken by several hundred people.



Algonquian – One of the most populous and widespread Native American groups, these tribes consist of peoples that speak Algonquian languages. Algonquian tribes of the New England area include Mohegan, Pequot, Narragansett, Wampanoag, Massachusett, Nipmuck, Pennacook, Abenaki, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy. Chippewa, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, and a variety of Cree groups lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan. In the Midwest lived the Shawnee, Illiniwek, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, and Sac and Fox. The Great Plains were called home to the Arapaho, Blackfoot and Cheyenne. In the mid- and south-Atlantic were the traditional homes of the Powhatan, Lumbee, Nanticoke, Lenape, Munsee and Mahican peoples. Other Algonquian tribes reside in Canada.



Algonquin/Algonkin – Often confused with other Indian tribes known as “Algonquian,” the Algonquin lived in villages of small round buildings called wigwams. With tribes originally numbering in the hundreds, they spoke several different dialects. The Algonquin were semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, collecting food primarily from fishing and hunting. Constantly at war with the Iroquois, the latter called the Algonquin “Adirondack,” a a derogatory name, which meant “they eat trees.” They held that a single supernatural force called Manitou imbued all nature. The Algonquin were first encountered by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1603. The closeness of the Algonquin to the French led to their temporary dislodgement from the Ottawa River area by the Iroquois. Today they live live in the modern Ontario/Quebec area of Canada.



Allakaweah – This tribe or band was first encountered by Lewis and Clark who gave them the name Allakaweah, which meant “Paunch Indians.” Living on the Yellowstone and Bighorn Rivers in Montana, they were estimated to have number about 2,300 people. As this area was occupied by the Crow Indians at the time, they were thought to have been a band of that tribe.



Alliklik – The Alliklik belonged to the Californian group of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, their closest relatives probably being the Serrano. They lived on the upper Santa Clara River in several villages and along with the Serrano, Vanyume, and Kitanemuk, numbered about 3,500 in 1770, but had been reduced to only about by the early 1900’s.



Alsea/Alsi – A Yaquina tribe formerly occupying a small territory at the mouth of Alsea River in western Oregon. In 1910, there were only 29 Alsea in the census report. They are now part of the Confederated Siletz Indians of Oregon.



Amacano – A tribe or band perhaps connected with the Yamasee which lived on the Apalachee Coast of Florida in 1674 with Chine and Caparaz tribes. At that time the three groups numbered about 300 people.



Amahami – According to tribal history, the Amahami had always lived along the upper Missouri River. Although they were culturally and linguistically similar to the Hidatsa, they were closer to the Mandan. They were recognized as a distinct tribe by Lewis and Clark in 1804, but had practically lost their identity 30 years later. In Lewis and Clark’s time their village was at the mouth of Knife River in North Dakota and they were estimated to have about 50 warriors. Disease caused survivors to merge with the Hidatsa.



Amaseconti – A dmall division of the Abnaki tribe who formerly resided in Maine. They took part with the other Abnaki in the early Indian wars against the English and joined in the treaty made at Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1713. Some of them lingered in their old homes until about 1797, when the last family moved to St Francis, lower Canada, where they retained their distinctive name until 1809.



Amikwa – An Algonquian tribe found by the French living on the north shore of Lake Huron, where they remained until about 1672. They were said to have been allies of the Nipissing tribe and once inhabited the shores of Lake Nipissing in Ontario, Canada. After disease and attacks by the Iroquois, the tribe was much reduced and moved to vaqrious locations including Lakes Superior and Michigan.



Anadarko – A tribe of the Caddo confederacy they were encountered by the Moscoso Expedition in 1542 living in villages scattered along Trinity and Brazos Rivers in Texas. A Spanish mission was established among the Anadarko early in the 18th century, but was soon abandoned. Disease and tribal wars forced them to the northeast and in 1812, about 200 of them were reported living on the Sabine River. They are now incorporated with the Caddo, many of whom live in western Oklahoma. The town of Anadarko perpetuates the tribal name.

Cañon de Chelle, New Mexico, 1873

Historic Ancient Puebloans dwellings dot the southwest, such as this one at Cañon de Chelle. Photo from 1873.

Ancient Puebloans – Often called, Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning “The Ancient Ones,” their decendants, including the Hopi, Zuni and the Puebloans, prefer the name Ancient Puebloans. These Indians lived from A.D. 1 to the 14th century in the Four Corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. They were a highly cultured tribe, known mostly for their great creativity and their building of many of the ancient cliff-dwellings that can still be seen today.  More



Anishinaabe – A large Algonquin nation inhabiting the Lake Superior region. The name means “Original Men” in their own tongue. The Algonquian term for them, Ojibway, was later corrupted into the English “Chippewa.” They are very closely related to the Ottawa and the Potawatomi, collectivity forming the “Three Fires.” They lived in cone-shaped and domed wigwams covered in bark and rushes, and were considered especially adept at the construction and use of birch bark canoes. They were fierce enemies of the Santee Sioux.



Ani-Stohini/Unami – Part of the Algonquian-language family, this tribe lived lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina and were one of the major branches of the Delaware tribe. Living on ancient trade trails that met met at what is today Max Meadows, Virginia, many of them mastered several languages to use in trade. Their sacred hunting grounds was a strip of land with vast meadows stretching from Draper Valley westward to the Cumberland Gap. Historically, they were notable for their height. In the 18th century, George Washington referred to them as “giants” when he saw them. Today, most of the descendants of the tribe still live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For several decades, they have been tryi8ng to gain federal recognition, however, this has been unsuccessful.

Summaries:  A  B  C  D  E-I  J-K  L-M  N  O  P  Q-R  S  T-V  W  X-Z

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