There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the U.
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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 longer, from Asia through Beringia.
Some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than the Europeans were familiar with.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe.
Genetic evidence suggests at least three waves of migrants arrived from Asia, with the first occurring at least 15 thousand years ago.
These early inhabitants, called Paleoamericans, soon diversified into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes.
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.
Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in many changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans.
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.
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.