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November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.


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is the bridge
from Asia to America

Maps that Explain America

Where did the First Nation American Indians come from?

Take Away: Nobody Really Knows - Everyone can only guess.

Willerslev and his team propose that earlier than 24,000 years ago 'the ancestors of Native Americans and the ancestors of today's East Asians split into distinct groups. 'The Mal'ta child represents a population of Native American ancestors who moved into Siberia, probably from Europe or west Asia. Then, sometime after the Mal'ta boy died, this population mixed with East Asians. The new, admixed population eventually made its way to the Americas.'

'The finding suggests that about a third of the ancestry of today's Native Americans can be traced to 'western Eurasia' part of the Samoyedic family, which are near the borders of Russia, China, and Mongolia.with elements of the Iranian-Caucasian substratum' not from East Asians. The research may help explain why 'European ancestry previously detected in modern Native Americans do not come solely from mixing with European colonists.

6/18/15 Kennewick Man, referred to as the Ancient One by Native Americans, is a male human skeleton discovered in Washington state (USA) in 1996 and initially radiocarbon-dated to 8,340-9,200. We now know the DNA for the Kennewick Man shows he is an ancestor of modern Native Americans along the shores of the Columbia River in Washington State. The genome was most closely related to DNA from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, one of the five tribes who originally claimed Kennewick Man as an ancestor.

11/1/14 Study: Native Americans have West Eurasian origins
As much as 35 percent of the genome of Native Americans is linked to the Middle East, Eurasia, and Europe this contradicts common belief indigenous peoples descended from East Asians who crossed Bering Sea land bridge.
Native Americans have closer genetic ties to people in Eurasia, the Middle East and Europe than previously believed, according to new research on a 24,000-year-old human bone. Genome sequencing on the arm bone of a 3-year-old Siberian boy known as the "Mal'ta Boy," the world's oldest known human genome, shows that Native Americans share up to one-third of their DNA with people from those regions, said Kelly Graf, a research assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University and a member of the international research team.
"The Mal'ta people who had this DNA were part of a group that ranged anywhere from Lake Baikal (Siberia) into Central Europe," she said. "This is part of a group that is genetically related to each other." They are not genetically related to the East Asians, however, so the question remains how DNA from these two peoples both ended up in the genetic code of Native Americans. "Native American ancestry is very complicated and very complex," Graf said.

People who migrated from Beringia, the Bering Straits

Russia and the Bering Straits are not exactly on the other side of the world from what we know as Europe, and the Asia connection has always been suggested by the Inuits, who more than any other Native American group resemble Asians. They look far more like, say, the Mongols of Central Asia than they do the Seneca in upstate New York or the Cheyenne of the northern plains. They don't know the roots of the peoples who crossed from Beringia or over the Bering Straits.

8/31/2014 DNA tells story of Arctic peopling DNA sequences from living and ancient inhabitants show a single influx from Siberia produced all the "Paleo-Eskimo" cultures, which died out 700 years ago. Modern-day Inuit and Native Americans arose from separate migrations.

5/15/14 DNA recovered from 12,000-year-old skeleton helps to dispel claims that first Americans came from Australia, Asia or Europe - study

11/20/13 Ancient Siberian genome reveals genetic origins of Native Americans

  • First Americans descended from the meeting and admixture of at least two populations, of which one is related to contemporary East Asians and the other to present-day western Eurasians.
  • These findings may explain the presence of mitochondrial lineage X in Native Americans.
  • The presence of a population related to western Eurasians further into northeast Eurasia provides a more likely explanation for the presence of non-East Asian cranial characteristics in the First Americans, rather than the Solutrean hypothesis that proposes an Atlantic route from Iberia.
  • Genetic continuity in south-central Siberia before and after the LGM provides evidence for the presence of humans in the region throughout this cold phase, which is of consequence to population movements into Beringia and ultimately the Americas around 15,000 years ago.

"The result came as a complete surprise to us. Who would have thought that present-day Native Americans, who we learned in school derive from East Asians, share recent evolutionary history with contemporary western Eurasians? Even more intriguingly, this happened by gene flow from an ancient population that is so far represented only by the MA-1 individual living some 24,000 years ago", says Professor Eske Willerslev from the Centre for GeoGenetics who led the study.
At approximately 17,000 years ago, this post-LGM individual demonstrates similar genomic signatures as MA-1, with close affinity to modern western Eurasians and Native Americans and none to present-day East Asians. This result indicates that genetic continuity persisted in south-central Siberia throughout this climatically harsh period, which is a significant consideration for the peopling of Beringia, and eventually the Americas some 15,000 years ago. The team reports genomic results from the MA-1 individual which unravel the origins of the First Americans - ancestors of modern-day Native Americans. The most significant finding that the MA-1 genome reveals is its relation to modern Native Americans. This relative of present-day western Eurasians shows close affinity to modern Native Americans, but surprisingly not to East Asians who are regarded as being genetically closely related to Native Americans. The team finds evidence that this genetic affinity between MA-1 and Native Americans is mediated by a gene flow event from MA-1 into the First Americans, which can explain between 14-38% of the ancestry of modern Native Americans, with the remainder of the ancestry being derived from East Asians. The study concludes that two distinct Old World populations led to the formation of the First American gene pool: one related to modern-day East Asians, and the other a Siberian Upper Palaeolithic population related to modern-day western Eurasians.



Between 1670 and 1715, more Indians were exported into slavery through Charles Town than Africans were imported.


Descendants Of Native American Slaves In New Mexico Emerge From Obscurity After centuries in the shadows, this group of mixed-race New Mexicans — Hispanic and American Indian — is stepping forward to seek recognition. Genizaros are descendants of slaves, but not Africans who crossed the Atlantic in shackles to work in Southern cotton fields. They are living heirs to Native American slaves. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Native American women and children captured in warfare were bought, converted to Catholicism, taught Spanish and held in servitude by New Mexican families. Ultimately, these nontribal, Hispanicized Indians assimilated into New Mexican society. "Who is the genizaro?" asks Virgil Trujillo, a ranch manager in Abiquiu. "We know who the Apache are, the Comanche, the Lakota. We know all this. Who's the genizaro? See, in our history that was suppressed. Spanish people and white people came in. [They said] 'bad Indian, bad Indian.' "
The name genizaro is the Spanish word for janissary, war captives conscripted into service to fight for the Ottoman Sultan. Some New Mexican genizaros gained their freedom by serving as soldiers to defend frontier villages like Abiquiu from Indian raids. By the late 1700s, genizaros comprised one-third of the population of New Mexico.

Native American slavery: Historians uncover a chilling chapter in U.S. history. America's Other Original Sin
Europeans didn't just displace Native Americans—they enslaved them, and encouraged tribes to participate in the slave trade, on a scale historians are only beginning to fathom.
How common was it for Indians to be enslaved by Euro-Americans? Counting can be difficult, because many instances of Native enslavement in the Colonial period were illegal or ad hoc and left no paper trail. But historians have tried. A few of their estimates: Thousands of Indians were enslaved in Colonial New England, according to Margaret Ellen Newell. Alan Gallay writes that between 1670 and 1715, more Indians were exported into slavery through Charles Town (now Charleston, South Carolina) than Africans were imported. Brett Rushforth recently attempted a tally of the total numbers of enslaved, and he told me that he thinks 2 million to 4 million indigenous people in the Americas, North and South, may have been enslaved over the centuries that the practice prevailed—a much larger number than had previously been thought. “It's not on the level of the African slave trade,” which brought 10 million people to the Americas, but the earliest history of the European colonies in the Americas is marked by Native bondage. “If you go up to about 1680 or 1690 there still, by that period, had been more enslaved Indians than enslaved Africans in the Americas.” As many as 10,000 Indians were enslaved between 1660-1760. Here are the names we know.

The The Navajo, or Diné, of the Southwestern United States are the second largest Native American tribe of Northern America. In the 2000 U.S. census, 298,197 people claimed to be fully or partly of Navajo ancestry. The Navajo Nation constitutes an independent governmental body which manages the Navajo Indian reservation in the Four Corners area of the United States. The traditional Navajo language is still largely spoken throughout the region, although most Navajo speak English fluently as well. Navajo refer to themselves in their native language as Diné, which is translated as "the people" in English. Dineh carved medicine dancers are an example of Navajo appropriation of Hopi techniques. "Navajo" is another tribe's name for the Dineh. Navajo is a Zuni word that means "many farms." The legend circulated among the Dineh is that it is a Spanish word for thief. The confusion does have bearing on why the Navajo are so prolific and have raided tribes for food, maintaining traditional lands after other native nations have vanished.

America's First Roads



Migration Routes: There is a massive amount of research about Indian roads and trade routes prior to contact. So many of the towns that were founded were along or near these routes and settlement grew surrounding these old roads.
The Piedmont Crescent in North Carolina (where most in North Carolina live) that runs from Raleigh to Charlotte is along what is known as the Great Trading Path/Indian Trading Path that ran from Petersburg, VA to around Augusta, GA. This road and others had huge implications historically for what happens after contact. These pre-contact roads are the first map, everything should begin there because so much was dictated by what was already in place before contact. An interesting dissertation about the Great Trading Path/Indian Trading Path

- That's the road at the end of the Great Wagon Road where you turn left on to go to SC, or right for Ohio and Kentuck. That's the one my folks trod.
Dr. Douglas Turner Day
512 S. Ellison Lane
Waynesboro, VA 22980