Native American Heritage Month . . . Final Exam

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner

November is National Native American History Month. Think that you are an “ace” when it comes to history? Try your hand at Native American history. A word of warning, though. Very little that you read about this subject on state historical markers is completely accurate. The situation is not much better in official state history textbooks. Answers are at the end of the questionnaire.

1. Which national organization first urged Congress to create a holiday honoring American Indians in the early 20th century?

  1. Sons of the American Revolution
  2. Knights of Columbus
  3. Daughters of the Confederacy
  4. Boy Scouts of America
  5. All of the above

2. At the end of the last Ice Age, a land bridge opened up between Siberia and Alaska, while an ice free corridor opened up in Canada.  This enabled the ancestors of American Indians to migrate quickly into the heart of the Americas.

a. True

b. False

3.  The first Clovis Points were found near Clovis, New Mexico during the 1920s.  To date, where have the oldest Clovis Points been found?

a.  In a cave near Sitka, Alaska

b.  In a cave near Vancouver, BC

c. In cave near Monterey, California

d.  At the Topper Site on the Savannah River in South Carolina.

4. Currently, the oldest known human remains in the Americas were found in:

a. (14,000 years) – Kenai Cave near Anchorage, Alaska

b. (13,000 years) – Chan Hol Cave near Tulúm, Mexico.

c. (12,705 years) – Peñon Cave near Lake Texcoco, Mexico

d. (11,500 years) – Lapa Vermelha, Pedro Leopoldo, Great Belo Horizonte, Brazil

5. Some of the earliest humans in the western Amazon Basin and Tierra del Fuego were closely related to the Australoids of Australia.

a. True

b. False

6. The Windover Pond People lived near present day Titusville, Florida between around 6,000 and 5,000 BC.  They have living relatives, who shared similar DNA and the same burial custom of staking bodies to the bottoms of shallow ponds.  Their modern “cousins” are:

a.  The Longhair Clan of the Cherokee

b.  The Ottawa, Potawatomi and Ojibwe of the Great Lakes Region

c.  The Siouan Peoples of South Carolina and the Western Plains

d. The Sami, Forest Finn and Karelian Peoples of the Arctic region in Europe.

7. According to their migration legends, where did the Ottawa, Potawatomi and Ojibwe Peoples originally live before settling near Lake Michigan?

a. The Maritime Provinces and Maine

b. Ohio River Basin

c. New York

d. Northern Quebec

8. The Pacific Coast Peoples of British Columbia and Washington State are known for their unique architecture, ornately carved sea-going canoes and totem poles.  What other indigenous people have almost identical cultural traditions?

a. Purepeche of Michoacan, Mexico

b. Maori of New Zealand

c. Esselen People of Monterey County, California

d. The Ma-Chis Tribe of Peru’s and Chile’s Pacific Coast

9.  Before the 1700s, where did the Lakota People live?

a.  Nebraska

b. Idaho

c. Minnesota

d. Missouri

10.  When the Puritans arrived in New England, they had to level several large Indian mounds in order to build the city of Boston?

a. True

b. False

11. According to Captain John Smith and later, 19th century historian, Samuel Kercheval, when Jamestown was settled, the Shenandoah Valley was . . .

a. Uninhabited

b.  Filled with large herds of bison

c. Occupied by a branch of the Cherokees, who soon became extinct

d. Densely occupied by an advanced Native American people, speaking a Creek-like language, who constructed many mounds.

12.  The Uchee (Yuchi) People told the early settlers of Georgia that . . .

a.  Giant dinosaur-like reptiles lived in the swamps of what is now southeast Georgia.

b. That they were recent arrivals, who had originally lived on the Pacific Coast

c. That their ancestors had sailed long ago from the “home of the sun” on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

d.  That their ancestors had migrated from northern Mexico.

13.  At the time of the American Revolution, the Caddo People originally lived in . . .

a.  Yorktown, Virginia

b.  Near Charleston, SC

c. eastern Texas and western Louisiana

d. Alabama

14.  The Hopewell Culture People of Ohio lived in large, densely populated towns, but their cultural influence spread all over eastern North America.

a. True

b. False

15.  When did the Inuit People arrive in western Canada?

a. Around 12,000 BC

b. Around 6,000 BC

c. Around 1000 BC

d. Around 1000 AD

16. The original home of the Dene People (Navajo) was . . .

a. Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

b. northwestern Canada

c. Louisiana

d. southern California

17. Opechancanough, the younger brother of Powhatan and his successor as Principal Chief, spoke what European language fluently?  Powhatan was Principal Chief, when Jamestown was settled.

a. Spanish

b. English

c. French

d. Dutch

18.  The Comanche People were great horsemen, who originally lived in Kentucky before being forcibly relocated by the United States to the Spanish province of Tejas.

a. True

b. False

19.  French and Dutch maps from the 1640s show the Cherokees living in what is now Quebec, immediately north of the St. Lawrence River and east of Lake Ontario.

a. True

b. False

20.  Petun is the Tupi-Brazilian word for tobacco.  Where did the Petun or Tobacco Indians live?

a. Near Tampa, Florida

b. Mobile Bay, Alabama

c. Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia

d.  Roanoke River Valley of North Carolina

21.  The Chiska were a militarily powerful tribe in northeastern Tennessee, when encountered by 16th century Spanish explorers.   What does the word mean and what other tribe in the Americas wore the same conical straw hat and black face paint as the Chiska.

a. Bird (Panoan) – the Chiska People of Peru

b. Eagle (Piman) – the Pima People of New Mexico and Mexico

c. Snake (Hokan) – the Hokan People of California

d.  Lizard (Nahunta) – Nahunta Indians of Missouri

22.  Currently, there are NO Pre-Columbian DNA test markers for the Native tribes, east of the Mississippi River.  Since well over half the indigenous population, north of Mexico, was in the Southeast, all the generalizations posted by geneticists in the media are highly suspect. 

a. True

b. False

23. The original Kaushite (Upper Creek) Migration Legend was discovered in 2015 at Lambeth Palace after being lost for 285 years. It is a transcription by Mary Musgrove of a vellum painted in the currently-lost Creek Indian writing system, which long predated Sequoyah’s Cherokee Syllabary.  At what location did the Kaushite originally live before starting their long migration to the Southern Highlands of the United States?

a. Red River Valley of Oklahoma

b. On the slopes of Mount Shasta in California

c. On the slopes of the Orizaba Volcano in Veracruz State, Mexico

d. Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

24. Which of these ethnic groups use the suffix, pronounced “ge,” for the word for “tribe or people?”

a. Cherokee and Algonquian

b. Shawnee

c. Muskogee-Creeks

d. Irish and Scottish Gaels

e. All of the above

25.  The great Native American city of Cahokia was the first location where large mounds were built and maize (American corn) was grown.

a. True

b. False

26.  Who was the first President of the United States to publicly acknowledge having Native American ancestry?

a. Andrew Jackson

b. Woodrow Wilson

c. Richard Nixon

d. George W. Bush

27. Who are the Melungeons?

a. Multi-racial people from the Appalachian Mountains

b.  A French-speaking Indian tribe in Louisiana

c.  A tribe near Montreal, who befriended the French

d. A Siouan tribe in Alberta Province

28.  In the late 1950s, Louisiana archaeologist, William G. Haag, obtained a radiocarbon date of 3545 BC for the initial construction of the Bilbo Mound and a man-made canal connecting it to a major river.  However, archaeologists in that state refused to believe that such an early date was possible.  Even though the date has been confirmed with the latest technology, most people still don’t know that it is the oldest known American architecture, north of Peru.  Where is the Bilbo Mound?

  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  2. Galveston, Texas
  3. Savannah, Georgia
  4. Mobile, Alabama

29.  Most “Mayas” never called themselves Mayas.  It is the Europeanized name of a province on the northern tip of Yucatan that arose around 1200 AD, long after most “Maya” cities have been abandoned.  Maya and the name of the city of Miami are derived from the name of their province.

  1. True
  2. False

30.  In 2012, the office of the Chattahoochee National Forest (US Forest Service), the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists spent somewhere between $30-50,000 in an effort to discredit the premier of the History Channel’s America Unearthed, before it even was broadcast on December 21, 2012. At the end of the program, scientists from the University of Minnesota proved beyond doubt that the main ingredient for Maya Blue stucco at the Itza Maya capital of Palenque, came from the State of Georgia.   What is the etymology (meaning and origin) of the word Chattahoochee?

a.  Of course, it’s Cherokee, but the meaning has been lost.

b.  It’s Cherokee and means “beautiful river.”

c. It’s an Itza Maya word that means “marked stone (stela) – shallow river.”

d.  It’s Muskogee Creek word that means “Red Horse.”

31.  The first Native American to star in a weekly, prime time TV series was . . .

a. Pernell Roberts (Eastern Creek) – Bonanza – 1959

b. Jay Silverhills (Mohawk) The Lone Ranger – 1947

c.   Jack Webb (Iroquois) – Dragnet – 1951

d.  Chief Dan George (Tsleil-Waututh) Carabou Country – 1960

 32.  Who was the first Native American to win an Academy Award?

a. Buffy St. Marie

b. Pernell Roberts

c. Wes Studi

d. Russell Means

1649 AD – Look at the upper left corner under the E and R!


  1. d
  2. False *
  3. d
  4. b
  5. a
  6. d
  7. a
  8. b
  9. c
  10. a
  11. d
  12.  c
  13.  c
  14.  False – The Hopewell lived in small transient villages.
  15.  d
  16.  b
  17.  a
  18.  False
  19.  True
  20.  c
  21.  a
  22.  True
  23.  c
  24.  e
  25.  False – The earliest mounds were in Georgia and Louisiana. The earliest evidence of maize cultivation is in southern Alabama and west of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida.
  26.  c
  27.  a
  28.  c
  29.  True . . .  Their indigenous name was Maiami.
  30.  c**
  31.  b
  32.  a
  • *Although for generations, students were taught this statement as fact, some geologists finally fact-checked it. The ice free passage way through Canada was NOT open when the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska was above water.
  • ** Muskogee Creeks in Oklahoma use the Itza Maya word “hawche” for all rivers and streams. Eastern Creeks in Georgia, South Carolina and most of Florida used the older Itsate Creek language, which is much closer to Itza Maya. They used “haw” for river and “hawche” for a shallow river or creek . . . which is exactly like Itza Maya’s grammar.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.