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American Indian Heritage Month
Resources for the media, schools, and the Web

The following quiz is a fun way to test people's knowledge of Native Americans. YOu can print it in a publication or on a website as an acknowledgment of American Indian Heritage Month. You also can give it to listeners on a radio talk show. And you can use it in junior high or high school as an in-class exercise, a reasearch project (using the library or the Internet), or a homework assignment.

Quiz:  Know Your Natives
13 Questions to Test Your Knowledge of Native Americans

  1. How many federally recognized tribes are there in the United States?
  2. Who wrote

The present King of Great Britain...has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers; the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

  3. Whose portrait is being carved in a mountain taller than Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota?
  4. Which American woman has the most school buildings and monuments named after her?
  5. Which two "Latin" countries have an indigenous majority?
  6. What was actress Maria Cruz's most famous role?
  7. How did Christopher Columbus punish Indians who didn't pay tribute on time?
  8. Which three of the following plants are not Native American in origin?

avocados, bananas, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, papayas, potatoes, sugarcane, tomatoes, zucchini

  9. What was George Washington's Indian nickname? (Hint: The initials were T.D.)
10. Which ten sports did Native people invent? (Hint: Archery isn't one of them.)
11. Which US state has the smallest Native population?
12. What were the Indians' three greatest architectural achievements?
13. When and where was the first treaty signed between Indians and Europeans? (Hint: Name the century and the area of the "New World.")

Answers at the end of this page.


The following articles are especially appropriate for this month. The ones with asterisks (*) are written for publication in the mainstream media. The others may be posted or excerpted in blogs or online forums.

The articles are also suitable to be read and discussed in upper-level classes. One classroom activity is to hold a debate on a particular subject, with both sides drawing arguments from the article and other sources.

Columbus Day
This ain't no party:  a Columbus Day rant (*)
Those evil European invaders

The myth of Western superiority (*)
      Recommended Native American books for all libraries
Ten little Pilgrims and Indians

Native history
Multicultural origins of civilization
Indian contributions to the American Revolution
Was Native defeat inevitable?

YMCA-Indian Guides
Team names and mascots
Uncivilized Indians
Savage Indians


Stereotype of the Month contest
For schools:  Pick an item in the Stereotype of the Month contest. In particular, you can pick a stereotype related to the season's two holidays:

Columbus Day

Cut-and-paste or print it and delete the concluding analysis, if any. Share it with students and ask them to analyze it. Ask such questions as:

1. Is the item stereotypical? If so, why?
2. Would the item harm or offend Indians? If so, how?
3. What could you do eliminte the stereotype? What would you say if the person responsible for the stereotype objected to eliminating it?

Answers to "Know Your Natives"

  1. 562 or 563, depending on the source.
  2. Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
  3. Crazy Horse.
  4. Sacagawea, according to her biographer.
  5. Guatemala and Bolivia.
  6. Sacheen Littlefeather, Oscar ceremony, 1973.
  7. Cut off their hands.
  8. Bananas, coffee, and sugarcane.
  9. Town Destroyer or Devourer.
10. Canoeing, kayaking, hockey (ice or field), soccer (kicking a ball for days), lacrosse, basketball, baseball,
      freestyle swimming, long-distance running (marathon or Iron-Man competition), tobogganing (sled sports).
11. Delaware, according to the 2000 Census.
12. The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán, Machu Picchu, and Mesa Verde, according to The World's Greatest Architecture:  Past and Present by D.M. Field.
13. The 1500s in the Caribbean. (Specifically, 1533 on the island of Hispaniola.)


All items on this page may be used, printed, copied, and distributed free as long as the following acknowledgment is included:

© 2007 Rob Schmidt
Source:  BlueCornComics.com

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More trivia questions
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All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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