The Indigenous peoples of the Americas Portal

Some Inuit people on a traditional qamutiik (dog sled) in Kinngait, Nunavut, Canada

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many, especially in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture. The impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas. Although 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 and empires. Among these are the Aztec, Inca and Maya states that until the 16th century were among the most politically and socially advanced nations in the world. They had a vast knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, writing, physics, medicine, planting and irrigation, geology, mining, sculpture and goldsmithing.

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A document commemorating a 1636 conveyance of land from Narragansett chief Canonicus to Roger Williams

The United States was the first jurisdiction to acknowledge the common law doctrine of aboriginal title (also known as "original Indian title" or "Indian right of occupancy"). Native American tribes and nations establish aboriginal title by actual, continuous, and exclusive use and occupancy for a "long time". Individuals may also establish aboriginal title, if their ancestors held title as individuals. Unlike other jurisdictions, the content of aboriginal title is not limited to historical or traditional land uses. Aboriginal title may not be alienated, except to the federal government or with the approval of Congress. Aboriginal title is distinct from the lands Native Americans own in fee simple and occupy under federal trust.

The power of Congress to extinguish aboriginal title — by "purchase or conquest", or with a clear statement — is plenary and exclusive. Such extinguishment is not compensable under the Fifth Amendment, although various statutes provide for compensation. Unextinguished aboriginal title provides a federal common law cause of action for ejectment or trespass, for which there is federal subject-matter jurisdiction. Many potentially meritorious tribal lawsuits have been settled by Congressional legislation providing for the extinguishment of aboriginal title as well as monetary compensation or the approval of gaming enterprises.

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The following are images from various Indigenous peoples of the Americas-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Alejandro Toledo - Jerusalem 2011.jpg

Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈxandɾo toˈleðo], (born 28 March 1946) is a politician who was president of Peru, from 2001 to 2006. He was elected in April 2001, defeating former President Alan García. Toledo came to international prominence after leading the opposition against President Alberto Fujimori, who held the presidency from 1990 to 2000.

Toledo was born into an impoverished family of indigenous peasants of Quechua heritage. He was the eighth oldest of sixteen brothers and sisters, seven of whom died in childhood. He was born in the village of Ferrer, Bolognesi, but registered in the nearby town of Cabana, Pallasca Province, Ancash Department.

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Raqchi archaeological site, Peru
image credit: AgainErick

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