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Native American Research Paper Example

If you need to write a research essay on Apache Native Americans, consider the 20 excellent topics below. These are meant as a guide and can give you a great starting point from which to find a topic that is interesting to you personally and conforms with your writing assignment guidelines:

  1. Federal Laws during the 1800’s That Influenced the Forced Removal of Many Apache Tribes
  2. How the Customs of the Plains Apache Tribes in Oklahoma Differ from the Apache Native American Tribes in New Mexico and Arizona
  3. Why the Tribes in Oklahoma Live on Trust Land in Lieu of a Reservation
  4. How Living under the Apache Native American Laws and the U.S. Laws Can Present Legal Dilemmas
  5. How Westward Expansion in the United States Impacted the Local Population of Apache Native Americans
  6. Chores of Apache Native American Children Would Complete
  7. Traditional Cradleboard Design Compared to Other Tribes
  8. Factors That Have Influenced the Development of the Apache Native American Language
  9. The Difference between the Tribal Council and the U.S. Congress
  10. The Hunt of Apache Native Americans: Tools and Weapons
  11. The Key Trading Partners of Apache Native Americans
  12. Arts and Crafts of the Apache
  13. The Main Apache Native American Legends in Comparison with Other Tribes
  14. Gender Roles in the Apache Native American Tribes
  15. The Apache Native American Homes Comparing to Other Tribes
  16. Changes in Apache Native American Clothing over the Decades
  17. Transportation Methods of the Apache Native American tribes
  18. The Difference of Food in the Apache and Other Native American Tribes
  19. Cultural Changes between the Five Tribes in Arizona
  20. Cultural Changes between the Five Tribes in New Mexico

Aren’t those topics great? You can also find amazing facts on Apache Native Americans and a writing guide on a research essay. These will greatly boost your productivity. And below you will find an example essay on Native American Policies and Westward Expansion to help give you a better idea of what an essay on such topics might look like.

Native American Policies and Westward Expansion Sample Essay

Westward expansion in the United States toward the Great Plains, and federal Native American policies significantly impacted the local population of Apache Native Americans and further worsened the relationship between settlers and local Native Americans. Settlers impacted the local buffalo population which threated to decimate the local Apache population. As settlers moved, Native Americans were forced into reservations and off their native lands. The railroad construction only served to exacerbate this.

At the end of the Civil War, there were an increasing number of settlers moving toward the western part of the United States. Farmers, miners, and ranchers all moved across the Great Plains in spite of resistance from local Native Americans who currently resided in these regions. The soil, climate, railroads, and land laws like that of the Homestead Act were all significant factors that encouraged settlers to move toward the Plains areas. The large westward expansion was responsible for the culmination in the slaughter of significant numbers of wild buffaloes which had previously roamed freely in the area and sustained the local Native American populations. As the number of buffaloes decreased, the Native American way of life was significantly threatened. There arose an increasing number of conflicts in the area once the Federal government decided to relocate Native Americans from the traditional homeland toward reservations.

The conflict was not a new concept, but what was new was the construction of the transcontinental railroad which functioned as a significant catalyst for the conflicts emerging at the end of the Civil War. Americans previous to this were only able to move to the lands west with horseback or covered wagon. But the railroads allowed for thousands to migrate at a faster rate, in better comfort, and for far less money. The number of settlers increased and the conflicts with native tribes became more often which caused forced movement by the American settlers of the Native Americans, and led to increased legal ramifications that resulted in the creation of reservations.

New massacres took place at Sand Creek and at Wounded Knee, both of which were based on fights between native populations to keep their ancestral lands, and American settlers claiming the lands for their ranches, homesteads, and farms. The United States Army brought with them technology such as rifles which the Native Americans could not counter. Additionally, the troops had better supplies as a result of the railroad and could sustain fighting for longer periods of time. Eventually the population of the Apache Native Americans diminished rapidly with the continual swell of immigration. Diseases brought by Europeans and the famine resulting from the disappearance of buffalo both contributed to their demise.


Amott, Teresa L., and Julie A. Matthaei. Race, gender, and work: A multi-cultural economic history of women in the United States. South End Press, 1996.
Basso, Keith H. Portraits of’the Whiteman’: Linguistic play and cultural symbols among the western Apache. Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Nabokov, Peter. Native American testimony: a chronicle of Indian-white relations from prophecy to the present, 1492-2000. Penguin Group USA, 1999.
Nagel, Joane. American Indian ethnic renewal: Red power and the resurgence of identity and culture. Oxford University Press, USA, 1997.
Opler, Morris Edward. An Apache life-way: The economic, social, and religious institutions of the Chiricahua Indians. U of Nebraska Press, 1941.
Opler, Edward Morris. Myths and tales of the Jicarilla Apache Indians. Courier Corporation, 2012.
Tiller, Veronica E. Velarde. The Jicarilla Apache Tribe: A History, 1846-1970. Univ of Nebraska Pr, 1983.

Also, you can buy essay online on any history topic you need. You will get a high-quality custom research essay written from scratch! Just fill in the order form!

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North America was inhabited by many various Indian groups. Each group was distinct with its own language and customs. Several Indian groups often shared a single culture, the same worldview, language, religion, food, clothes and architecture of buildings. The cultural groups of Indian people depended on the same natural resources and used them in a similar way. For instance, the Plains Indians, constituting distinct cultural group, lived in the area of Great Plains. This Indian culture is well-known for their reliance on the buffalo, their traditional religious rites, the use of the tepee, and their customs related to warrior’s lifestyle. The most significant tribes of this culture include Cheyenne, Dakota, Sioux and Comanche.

The Plains Indians

One of the most distinct features of the Plains Indians is great importance of the buffalo. This animal was the essential natural resource. The Plains Indians were traditionally hunters. They hunted many types of animals, but buffalo was the one which provided them with all essential elements of their life: clothing, food and shelter. Therefore, Plains strictly followed the migration of buffalo, such constant movement required very mobile form of the shelter. Such kind of home was called the tepee. The tepee was made by tying the long poles and covering them with the hide of buffalo. When the Indians moved on, these long poles were used to carry their belongings and were called the travois (Garbarino & Sasso, 1994).

The meet of the buffalo was used for food. The fresh meat was either roasted on fire or boiled. Also, a sort of sausage and dry meat was made. The skin of the buffalo was used to make clothes and shelter. Thus, no part of this animal was wasted. Horns were turned into cups, spoons or toys. Bones were generally used as weapons or tools. The stomach was cleaned and then used to carry water. It should be nevertheless noticed that Plains Indians, being hunters, only killed what was needed to survive and never killed more then necessary. Only with the appearance of the white man, the slaughter of the buffalo began.

The plains Indians believed in numerous gods. They thought that the gods showed themselves in the form of the moon, stars, sun, and anything that was strange or possessed great power, such as person, animal or even stone with odd shape. Indians received their power from the gods by visions. Those who saw visions were considered medicine men. They were believed to see future and heal people from the diseases. One of the ceremonies of the Plains Indians is powwow. It is a celebration of prayer to the Great Spirit. Another important ceremony was called the Sun Dance. It took place during the summer and lasted four days, during which dancers kept repeating the same movements and didn’t eat nor drink. Indians believed that such dances would help return their land.

The Southwest Indians

Merwyn S. Garbarino and Robert F. Sasso (1994) in Native American Heritage use culture areas distinction approach in comparing the tribes belonging to different cultures. This approach, though somewhat generalized, may prove fairly reasonable on the example of comparing the cultures of Plains Indians to those of Southwest group. This culture is very different from the Plains culture largely due to the climate of the territory the tribes inhabited. The climate of the Southwest region is very dry. A large part of the territory is desert. Therefore, water was a precious resource and Indians had strict rules as to using water. Also, the desert was very purely inhabited with animals. That is why hunting was not a priority in Southwest Indians’ life, instead, their occupation was farming. The most well-known tribes of the area are Anasazi, Hopi, Pueblo and Navajo (Garbarino, Sasso., 1994).

Anasazi Indians, for instance, built their homes in the sides of the canyons, or mesas. Their buildings looked like big apartment buildings. They were large and had over 200 rooms with more then 400 people living. The buildings were built with stone. The homes had window but no doors. Anasazi entered their rooms by climbing the ladder and jumping into the hole in the roof. The Anasazi men had special rooms for religious rituals. This room was named kiva. The room was decorated with paintings of gods on the walls and featured a hole in the floor. It symbolized the ancestors of the Indians, who came from belly of the Earth. The Indians prayed to the Great Spirit for such things as good harvests, rain and other. The Anasazi Indians left Mesa Verde very suddenly and since 1888 haven’t been heard of. Now, the place of their former living has become a national park.

Other representative tribe of Southwest culture is Hopi Indians. They lived at the foot of mesas as well. Hopi believed in many gods and used so-called Kachinas to talk to their gods. Kachinas were gods or spirits living in mountains. Children of Hopi were never punished. If they were bad, they were talked to. If they were very bad, the parents scared them with the masks of Scare Kachinas, but never hurt them. The religious and world-vision beliefs of Hopi Indians were called the Hopi Way. The Hopi Way included loving all people, animals and plants. Also, Hopi way included obligation to be kind to everyone and everything. The Hopi Indians, as well as Anasazi, lived quiet life (Wright, Leitch, 1981).

Thus, the difference between Plains Indians as Southwest culture is more than evident.

Current state of Native American tribes

In a whole, 20th century was marked for Native Americans with poor education, inadequate health care, grave poverty and unemployment. Nevertheless, some tribes experience positive change of such situation. Native tribes face new economic opportunities from tourism and development of natural resources. Increasing interest of wide public to Native American culture, crafts and arts, music and customs also brings new income to tribes and contributes to preserving of their traditions and culture. Today, the largest number of Native American people lives in sates of California, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.


Merwyn S. Garbarino, Robert F. Sasso. Native American Heritage. Waveland Press; 3rd edition (April 1, 1994)

Wright, J. Leitch, Jr. The Only Land They Knew: The Tragic Story of the American Indians in the Old South. New York: The Free Press, 1981.

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