The Native American History Quiz

By: Olivia Seitz
Image: youtube

About This Quiz

How much do you know about the indigenous people of the Americas? Test your knowledge of famous Native Americans, their culture and their wars with the settlers.

Which of these famous Native Americans acted as a guide for Lewis and Clark?

Sacagawea provided critical assistance to the expedition by acting as a translator and navigator. She accompanied them from 1805 to 1806.

Which of these famous Native Americans became a renowned ballet dancer?

Maria, a member of the Osage Nation, joined the New York City ballet and eventually became the company's first prima ballerina in 1947. She went on to found the Chicago City Ballet.

Which of the following is true about Black Elk?

Black Elk chronicled his story in "Black Elk Speaks," a book about the history of the Sioux and Black Elk's own role in it. He collaborated with writer John Neihardt on the project.

Which warrior was incorrectly accused of kidnapping Felix Tellez?

The accusation sparked a decade of violence and strife between the Chiricahua Apache and the U.S. Cochise was vindicated roughly ten years after he died, when the boy was found among a Western Apache tribe.

Which battle displaced several Native American peoples, including the Shawnee and Miami, to make room for settlers in Ohio?

The battle took place on August 20, 1794. Afterward, the Treaty of Greenville opened up most of Ohio for settlers.

Which brave Native American assisted the settlers, but was then captured and taken to England?

Squanto's assistance to the first pilgrims from England was critical for their survival. Unfortunately, he was kidnapped and taken to England for five years, before returning to find the members of his Patuxet tribe devastated by illness.

What does the name Geronimo mean?

Actually, his given name - Goyahkla - translates to "One Who Yawns." Geronimo is probably a failed attempt by others to pronounce Goyahkla. Geronimo was a military and spiritual leader of the Chiricahua Apache who encouraged raids and resistance against encroachments on their land. His success in battle made him a legend known to this day.

Did Pocahontas actually save John Smith's life?

The explanation popular with historians is that Smith misunderstood an adoption ceremony, incorrectly thinking his life was in danger. She did facilitate friendly relations between her tribe and the settlement and warned Smith when her father fomented war.

To which tribe did Sitting Bull belong?

Sitting Bull united the Sioux tribes against the U.S. government until defeat at Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was shot several years later by authorities who were afraid he would inspire future resistance.

In what emergency did Sacagawea's quick thinking save the lives of her companions?

When their boat capsized, Sacagawea outshone the navigator, Charbonneau, by collecting essential items before they were lost in the water. Her actions so inspired Lewis and Clark that they named part of the Missouri River after her.

How long had the Narragansett lived in the Rhode Island area before being displaced after King Philip's War?

Archaeologists discovered evidence that places the tribe's ancestors in the region as many as 30,000 years ago. Many of them were killed en masse, in a surprise attack dubbed the Great Swamp Massacre.

How many Cherokee perished on the Trail of Tears?

One estimate is 5,000+ casualties, based on historical data, but estimates do vary. It is certain that the Cherokee forced from their homes suffered from illness, starvation and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. military.

Which English monarch made all Native American territories west of the thirteen colonies off-limits for colonial expansion?

In the Proclamation of 1763, King George III issued a ban on expansion, intended to protect both native tribes and settlers from violence. It resulted from the French and Indian War.

Which treaty lead to the Trail of Tears?

The treaty was brokered by several Native Americans acting as lone agents. Despite the vigorous protests of tribes which had no say in the treaty, it was ratified by Congress.

What were pueblos?

These complex dwellings stretched several stories high. They were the traditional dwelling places of some tribes, including the Hopi.

What was Pocahontas' real name?

Pocahontas was a nickname, meaning something to the effect of "playful little girl." After converting to Christianity, she assumed the name Rebecca.

When did Native Americans' ancestors arrive in the Americas?

It is believed that the ancestors of Native Americans arrived approximately 13,000 years ago, after crossing the Bering Strait. At the time, there would have been a passable stretch of land they used to cross from Asia. Others say some may have migrated 30,000 years ago, based on genetic studies involving a mutation known as Q.

Which of these Native American people lived in Alaska and further in the Arctic?

The Inuit and the Aleut occupied Alaska, Greenland and Canada. Some lived in domed houses and many were nomads who followed their food supply (seals, fish, etc.).

What factors contributed to the settlers' press for more Native American land?

Often, Native Americans were driven from their land because gold was discovered in the region they inhabited. Many other times, it was driven by the American spirit of expansionism.

What was Sitting Bull's childhood name?

This youthful name was later abandoned for his well-known title of Sitting Bull. It was common practice among some of the Sioux tribes to assign new names at different stages of life.

Which of the following were staple crops in the northeast region?

Corn, beans, and various vegetables were staple foods of the Native Americans who lived in the northeast regions. In fact, corn, squash and beans are known as the Three Sisters of the northeastern tribes. These were augmented by game, fish, berries and sometimes wild rice.

Which of the following was included in the "Five Civilized Tribes?"

The "Five Civilized Tribes" were the Choctaw, Seminole, Cherokee, Creek and Chickasaw tribes, which more readily adopted European traditions and sought peace with the settlers. They were forced out of their homes on the Trail of Tears.

Who did Pocahontas marry?

While Disney capitalized on the romanticized story of love between Pocahontas and John Smith, the two never had a relationship. Instead, she married a colonist and tobacco farmer named John Rolfe, with whom she had a son named Thomas.

Who assumed legal guardianship of Sacagawea's children after she died at the age of 25?

Clark took care of both Lizette and Jean-Baptiste, her two children, despite the fact that their father, Toussaint Charbonneau, would live for another thirty years.

What was a "potlatch"?

Native Americans in the Northwest regions prized certain possessions to the point that they had fancy gift-giving events called potlatches. They would exchange blankets, shells, slaves and canoes.

Who fought against the Sioux and the Cheyenne at the Battle of Little Bighorn?

Custer was overwhelmed by the forces of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. His sound defeat led to the battle's nickname - Custer's Last Stand.

What caused many of the Black Seminole Indians to move to Mexico in the 1850s?

They chose to migrate when they realized that Indian Territories were not legally protected from slave raiders. Moving protected them from being captured and sold into slavery in other parts of the U.S.

During which decade did Native American activists march in The Longest Walk?

The peaceful march on Washington, D.C., was part of a protest over land and water rights afforded (or not afforded) to Native Americans. It came at the close of the Red Power Movement in 1978.

What made Tecumseh famous?

Tecumseh, alive in the late 1700s and early 1800s, worked to consolidate the tribes of the Midwest to stand against U.S. forces. He died during the War of 1812 in the Battle of the Thames.

Who led the Native Americans in King Philip's War against the English?

Nicknamed "King Philip," Metacom was the last Native American leader to attempt to reclaim territory in New England. He was captured and beheaded in 1676, bringing the war to an end.

From what were teepees primarily made?

Tribes which inhabited the plains often used teepees, made of buffalo hides, while they hunted game. Teepees were not permanent homes.

In 1973, which location was seized by Native Americans in protest of their treatment by the U.S. government?

Wounded Knee was the site of a massacre in 1890 when troops surrounded and killed a group of Ghost Dancers led by Big Foot. Later, it was seized by protesters and held under siege for 71 days.

Which of the following were popular modes of travel in the subarctic regions?

Any transportation method had to be adapted to consistently snowy conditions. They were used mainly by migrant populations who hunted caribou and carried their tents with them.

How much money did the Cherokee people receive in exchange for their land east of the Mississippi?

They were also compensated for lost property and "assisted" with relocation. This led to the forced relocation of Cherokee people and the Trail of Tears.

With whom did Tecumseh ally himself during the War of 1812?

He chose to ally his forces with the British, hoping to stop the expansion of the U.S. Unfortunately for his people and allies, the U.S. victory led to a strong push to take territory from the Native Americans.

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