More than half of the states in the U.S. have names that come from Native languages, one of the most familiar groups being the Algonquian languages. Three examples of this are Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
The city of Seattle is named after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
Chief Tecumseh, of the Shawnee tribe, tried to unite several Native American tribes before his death in the War of 1812.
Chief Peguis of Saulteaux, Canada, initially helped European settlers, saving some from starvation. He became increasingly concerned about the illegal settlement on tribal lands.
Chief Luther Standing Bear of the Oglala Sioux was an author, philosopher, and actor who fought to preserve his heritage.
Chief Dan George of the Tsleil-SWaututh Nation of Canada was an actor, musician, poet, and author.
Oren Lyons, Onandaga Nation Chief was a member of the Indigenous Peoples of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.
Wilma Mankiller was an American Cherokee activist and social worker who became the first woman elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani leader of the Ecuadorian Amazon, in 2020 was the only indigenous woman on the Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Miriam Miranda, of the Garifuna community of Honduras, bravely continues her fight for human and environmental rights despite facing numerous hardships.
Silvia Carrera is the cacique general of the Ngobe-Bugle Comarca Indigenous territory of western Panama, known for her ongoing battle against mineral mining.
Aura Lolita Chavez, a women’s rights activist and member of the Council of K’iche Peoples in Guatemala, is a prominent global leader in the struggle to preserve natural resources.
Native Americans are considered to be the first group to have created anesthetics and analgesics, which were often derived from natural products and ointments such as plants and flowers. They established a revolutionary form of medicinal healing long before European doctors had knowledge of such possibilities.