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Native American Innovations - 8 Humanities

Native American Thought of It: Amazing Inventions and Innovations (We Thought of It)

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Many people mistakenly believe that the first inhabitants of America were primitive or unable to develop noteworthy technology and culture. In reality, Native Americans had a hand in some of the greatest innovations of their time, and some of their inventions are still used today! Below are 10 mind-blowing Native American innovations.

Many people mistakenly believe that the first inhabitants of America were primitive or unable to develop noteworthy technology and culture. In reality, Native Americans had a hand in some of the greatest innovations of their time, and some of their inventions are still used today! Below are 10 mind-blowing Native American innovations.

Native Innovation Inc., Rock Point, Arizona

  • Precision Tools
    Spearheads, arrowheads, cutting tools – none of these invaluable Native American innovations would be possible without knapping. Knapping is the process of breaking off chunks of malleable stone using a tougher stone. Obsidian is a popular material that is knapped because it is more precise than any modern surgical tool today. Some doctors have even requested to perform surgeries using knapped obsidian! Today, many Native Americans practice this as a traditional art form, and there are few experts still alive today.
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    As the first inhabitants of North America, Native Americans discovered how to live off the land. Many tribes domesticated edible plants, raised animals, and discovered natural medicines. Native American innovations in areas such as mathematics and government greatly influenced other cultures in Europe and Latin America.

    The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) welcomes you to the home of the Native American Innovative Leadership program (NAIL). The goal of the program is to prepare Native American educators to successfully lead high-achieving, culturally responsive schools serving Native American youths and communities.