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TAIDA - Tennessee American Indian Development Assoc.

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Tennessee Indian History
TAIDA - U, On-Line Learning Campus

Any subject can be learned and the information retained if it is presented in short, easy to understand Learning Modules. Some of the benefits you will receive from these Learning Modules are outlined below:

  • Increase your awareness of Tennessee Indian history
  • Enable you to understand and participate in Tennessee Indian community decision making processess
  • Enable you to pass along to your children and grandchildren, valuable cultural knowledge
  • Increase the cultural knowledge base of the Tennessee Indian community as individual members increase their own knowlege base
  • Learn more about your ancestors and why things are the way they are today as a result of what was done in the past and what is being done in the present to perpetuate what was done in the past.

Here are the simple, easy, fast steps to learning what many universities take months to teach. Just follow these simple steps that will take you to a better understanding of Tennessee Indian History .


1.  Check your knowledge base of what you know right now about this subject by taking the Pre-test. Click on the link to go to the Pre-test. Record your answers or print out the page and circle your answers.


2.  Read the Tennessee Indian History Introduction


3.  Read the Tennessee Indian History Learning Module 1


4.  Take the Post-test and record your answers or print out the page to circle your answers.


5.  Compare your answers from the Pre-test to your answers to the Post-test to see how much material you learned and what you might want to read again. Click on the Assessment Answers to see the correct answers to the questions.


6.  Please go to the bottom of this page and fill out a form that tells us what you liked or disliked about this Learning Module or any suggestions you have to improve it. Click the submit button after you are finished.

Once you are familiar with how the Learning Modules are presented, you will find that it is easy to learn more about Tennessee Indian History and culture. Let this first Learning Module be your introduction to a more thorough understanding of the concerns of Tennessee Indians.

Now let's get started!

Click Here To Take the Pre-test and the Post-test

Introduction To

Tennessee Indian History Learning Module 1

Many people are unaware of the fact that Tennessee's Indigenous Indian population is actually made up of a diversity of tribal groups which have been known to exist in Tennessee, with the grandchildren of those tribal groups continuously occupying the lands that are now known as Tennessee.

In the past, modern day state boundaries did not exist and what is now known as Tennessee was not known as such before the lands were occupied by the U.S. government. This simple fact is also the cause of much division today among Tennessee Indians and surrounding "states's" Indians as they experience conflict regarding which state they are actually from. However, it is the artificial state boundaries, drawn up by the federal and state governments that is the source of this confusion and conflict.

In this Learning Module you will learn how to identify the main tribal groups that have occupied Tennessee in the past,  and whose grandchildren continue to live on their ancestral lands today. You will also learn how Indian patriots fought to maintain their ancestral lands in the past.


Tennessee Indian History, Learning Module 1

Indigenous Tennessee Indians who have lived in the area that is now called Tennessee for hundreds and most probably thousands of years, can trace their lineages back to two main ethno-groups. These two main groups are the Mississippian (Moundbuilders) and the Woodland Peoples.

After the passing of many years, many Tennessee Indians blended these two main cultures into which became the foundations upon which present day Tennessee Indian culture is built.

Many of the Mississppian (Moundbuilders) People's tribal groups' names have been lost, with the remaining known and familiar historical tribal names being comprised of seven main tribes. The names of these seven main tribes are as follows:

Cherokee  Chickasaw   Creeks     Shawnees    Natchez  Yuchi  Chikamaka

These people were all part of the Moundbuilder culture even though their languages might have differed.

After 1776, more people from other tribal groups moved into Tennessee and supported the Chikamaka. These tribal people blended with the Tennessee Indians who already lived in Tennessee even though they had moved away from their own ancestral homelands. By intermarrying with Tennessee Indians, they too blended their bloodlines with Tennessee Indians and claimed their new homeland as the birthrights of their children.

The names of these tribal people are as follows:

Mohawk   Ottawa   Delaware   Mingo   Saponi   Choctaw  Catawba

In addition to the above named groups that blended with Tennessee Indians is a tribe of people named the Koasati who are rarely mentioned.

The above seven named tribal groups joined with Dragging Canoe and the Chikamakas (whose ancestors were the Chitimaucas), living with the Chikamakas as a confederacy for over 20 years as they waged a fierce war against the U.S. government to retain their ancestral homelands.

In 1796 the Tellico Treaty ended the hostilities between the U. S. government, the Cherokees and the Chikamakas. However, small groups of Indians who did not agree with this treaty continued to fight and put up a resistance to their lands being taken.

Some of these Indian patriots left the area, while many others stayed in the regions to continue their claims to their lands by living on their ancestral homelands and clinging to their homes in any manner in which they could manage.

These fierce and strong, independent patriots are the ancestors of present day Tennessee Indians.

Click Here For the Answers to the Pre-test & the Post-test

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