Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States.
There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the U.
S., about half of which are associated with Indian reservations.
The term excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives.
The ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia via Beringia.
A vast variety of peoples, societies and cultures subsequently developed.
Native Americans were greatly affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, and their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases, warfare, and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare, removals, and one-sided treaties, and they continue to suffer from discriminatory government policies today.
Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States.Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population, cultural, and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.As most Native American groups had historically preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans.At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and mostly Christian immigrants.Some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than the Europeans were familiar with.