With such abundant resources, Native Americans thrived in the region for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. The two main language groups in this region are Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and Algonquian. Iroquois speakers include the Cayuga, Oneida, Erie, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora, Mohawk, and Huron (Wyandot) peoples, and the Algonquian language group includes the Mi’kmaq, Ojibwe, Pequot, Fox, Shawnee, Wampanoag, Delaware, Menominee, and Mohegan peoples.
The Eastern Woodlands Cultural region stretches from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean and includes the Great Lakes region, eastern Canada, and the Ohio River Valley.
The Eastern Woodlands has abundant forests, lakes, and rivers as well as mountains, valleys, and the coast. This region enjoys all four seasons: hot summers, cool falls, cold winters, and warm springs.
Thick forests, rivers, and streams provide food and resources. The forests have turkeys, deer, beavers, wolves, foxes, and bears while the seacoast has shells, whales, and cod. They grow the three sisters: corn, beans and squash.
The First Nations here are the Iroquois-speaking Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Huron; and the Algonquian-speaking Shawnee, Mi’kmaq, Ojibwe, Mohegan, Delaware, and Wompanoag
NATIVES OF THE EASTERN WOODLANDS
The Algonquin built wigwams, a dome shaped home with a wooden-frame covered with mats of birch bark. The Iroquois built longhouses, a long, narrow wooden lodge for several families.
Wampum are strings of beads arranged to represent important events and could be worn as decoration, used at ceremonies or as currency. Sachems were the highest leader. They were elected by the people and could be male or female.
Animals were utilized for food and for their hides which were used for clothing, blankets and bags. Turkey feathers were collected and sewn into capes to provide warmth and repel water.