How Indian Culture Changed Over Time in US History

Indian culture has a deep history in the United States that dates back thousands of years. The first recorded evidence of Native American culture in America dates back to 12,000 BC. Indian culture evolved over time due to various events that shaped American history. In this blog post, we will explore the changes that Indian culture has undergone throughout the history of the United States.

Pre-Colonial Period

Before the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century, several Indian tribes inhabited different parts of North America. These tribes had distinct cultures, languages, and artistic expressions. For example, the Apache and Navajo tribes had unique clothing and jewellery, while the Cherokee people had a complex system of governance.

Colonial Period

The arrival of European colonizers in the 15th century marked a significant turning point in the history of Indian culture in America. The colonizers introduced new technologies, religion, and language, which significantly impacted Indian culture. Europeans brought Christianity, which conflicted with the traditional beliefs of Native Americans, leading to the suppression of the Indian culture.

The Reservation System

In the late 19th century, Congress passed the Dawes Act, which permitted the federal government to allocate lands to Indian families for farming. The Dawes Act aimed to assimilate Native Americans into American culture, leading to the loss of their traditional ways of life. Many Indians were forced to leave their lands and move to reservations, leading to the fragmentation of Native American culture.

Modern Era

In recent decades, Native Americans have been working towards preserving their cultural heritage by teaching the younger generation traditions such as language, dance, and traditional crafts. They are also lobbying for the return of ancestral lands and greater recognition of their contribution to American society.


Over time, Indian culture in the United States has experienced significant changes. From their pre-colonial period, through their colonization and the introduction of the reservation system, to the current era, where efforts are being made to preserve their cultural heritage. Understanding these changes is vital in appreciating the richness of Native American culture and their place in American history.

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