Famous Native Americans
Sequoyah was a famous Cherokee, known for creating a writing system. His writing system inspired many more to be created around the world.
Read our article on Sequoyah.
Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota leader. He was famous for resisting the U.S. forces and refusing to sign the Treaty of Fort Laramie and give up his lands.
Sitting Bull took part in Red Cloud’s War and led many battles against U.S. forces.
He set up a new village away from the reservation, refusing any help from them after such terrible treatment.
In 1876, General Custer came to his camp and attacked Sitting Bull and his people. They moved to Canada before surrendering to U.S. forces.
Sitting Bull was shot by U.S. forces because he was wrongfully connected to a Ghost Shirt Dance. The U.S. government thought the Ghost Shirt Dance was violent.
Read our article on Sitting Bull.
Crazy Horse was a famous leader of the Oglala sub-tribe of the Lakota Sioux. He was born in South Dakota in 1840.
Crazy Horse worn many battles against Native American enemies and also white settlers. He played a big part in defeating Custer’s army in the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Crazy Horse also has a huge memorial. It is a carving of his face on rocks near Mount Rushmore. There are no photographs of Crazy Horse, so no one really knows what he looked like.
Read our article on Crazy Horse.
Chief Joseph was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-Kain band of the Nez Perce. The Nez Perce lived in the northwest of the United States.
He became leader in the 1870s. Chief Joseph encountered lots of difficulties and testing times as a leader.
The Nez Perce were forced out of their homes in north eastern Oregon to a small reservation in Idaho Territory.
Under Chief Joseph, his band and the Palouse band refused to move. They then fled the United States after white settlers repeatedly attacked them in 1877.
Read our article on Chief Joseph.
Sacagawea is a famous Native American woman who helped on a huge expedition around the Americas called the Lewis Clarke Expedition.
She is remembered around the world to this day for her great contributions to knowledge.
Sacagawea was born in 1788 near present-day Idaho and Montana to the Shoshone nation. She was kidnapped aged 12 in a battle.
She was taken to a Hidatsa village near modern-day Dakota. She was married off one year later in a forced marriage to a Quebecois trapper (animal catcher).
This man was Toussaint Charbonneau.
In 1804, two men called Meriwether Lewis and William Clark wanted to explore the Missouri River. They wanted a trapper and a translator to help them.
They had heard about a French trapper who had a wife who spoke Shoshone, Sacagawea.
Sacagawea helped the expedition members trade and negotiate with the Native Americans.
Clark believed that having Sacagawea also helped show the people they encountered that they were not coming to start a war.
Read more about Sacagawea.
Jim Thorpe was one of the greatest athletes ever. He played a number of sports, including baseball, basketball and football.
He won an Olympic Gold Medal for the pentathlon and decathlon in 1912.
Read our article on Jim Thorpe.
Maria Tallchief was a famous Ballerina. Her nickname was “Betty” because he first name was Elizabeth. She was born in 1925.
She moved to New York City as a young girl and became the New York City Ballet’s first star in 1946 when it opened. She became prima ballerina in 1949 for her role in The Firebird.
She also made the Nutcracker famous in America.
Read our article on Maria Tallchief.
Who was Sitting Bull?
Why was Maria Tallchief famous?
What did Sequoyah invent?
What events did Jim Thorpe win Olympic medals for in 1912?
What was the name of the expedition Sacagawea went on?