cover image

Indigenous peoples of the Americas

Native populations of North and South America / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short, summarize this topic like I'm... Ten years old or a College student

The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peoples.

Quick facts: Total population, Regions with significant po...
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
Current distribution of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas (not including mixed people like mestizos, métis, zambos, and pardos)
Total population
~54 million
Regions with significant populations
 Mexico11.8–23.2 million[1][2]
 Guatemala6.4 million[3]
 Peru5.9 million[4]
 Bolivia4.1 million[5]
 United States3.7 million[6]
 Chile2.1 million[7]
 Colombia1.9 million[8]
 Canada1.8 million[9]
 Ecuador1 million[10]
 Costa Rica104,143[18]
 Puerto Rico19,839[24]
 French Guiana~19,000[25]
 El Salvador13,310[26]
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines3,280[27]
 Trinidad and Tobago1,394[30]
Mostly Christianity (Catholic and Protestant), along with various Indigenous American religions
Related ethnic groups
Mestizos, Métis, Zambos, Pardos, and Indigenous Siberian peoples

Many Indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers and many, especially in the Amazon basin, still are, but many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture.[32] While some societies depended heavily on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming, hunting, and gathering. In some regions, the Indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, chiefdoms, states, kingdoms, republics,[33] confederacies, and empires. Some had varying degrees of knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, writing, physics, medicine, planting and irrigation, geology, mining, metallurgy, sculpture, and gold smithing.

Many parts of the Americas are still populated by Indigenous peoples; some countries have sizeable populations, especially Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. At least a thousand different Indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as Quechua, Arawak, Aymara, Guaraní, Mayan, and Nahuatl, count their speakers in the millions. Many also maintain aspects of Indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization, and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many Indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects but also cater to modern needs. Some Indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western culture and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples.