How Geography Impacts the Way Native Americans Were Able to Use Their Natural Recourses

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
My 7th grade Social Studies homework from last year.

Submitted: October 10, 2016

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Submitted: October 10, 2016



How Geography Impacts the Way Native Americans Were Able to Use Their Natural Recourses to Meet Their Basic Needs


Geography impacts the way in which Native Americans were able to use their natural resources to meet their basic needs like shelter, food, clothing, and education because geography makes them available.


What are natural resources?  Natural resources are items acquired directly from nature, like animals, trees, and crops.  People (human resources) and manufactured goods used to make more goods (capital resources) are not natural resources.


Food is one basic need that is very dependent upon geography.  Native Americans hunted for much of their food, but lots of food was farmed as well.  On the plains, Native Americans hunted buffalo which require grasses, herbs, shrubs, and twigs that grow on the plains to eat.  In the Northeast, people hunted moose, deer, and elk.  These animals need secluded areas to rest and feed, winter range with shallow snow, and woody plants and shrubs to eat, all of which occur in specific geological areas.  Southwestern natives do not hunt as much as tribes in moister areas due to the geography; hot, dry, and barren.  Instead, they farm for most of their food, but occasionally they eat deer, rabbit, and domesticated turkeys.  Fish were the main food source for Southeastern people as they had access to lots of water. Common crops included beans, maize, nuts, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, and wild rice, all of which grow in specific geographical areas.  Animals and plants are natural resources.


Shelter is another basic need heavily reliant on geography.  Native Americans used trees, smaller plants, animal hides, earthy clay, and even snow to make shelter.  Woodland and plains Indians used trees to make dwellings out of timber/bark, and teepees out of animal skin, respectively, utilizing the natural resources their geographical location made available to them.  Pueblo and other Southwestern tribes even used the prevalent natural resources earth and clay to build homes called cliff dwellings right on geological features.  Inuits used snow to make igloos.


Clothing was decided upon by geography—cold required heavy coats, and rocky, uneven ground required shoes.  Women or men (varying by tribe) used natural resources such as cedar bark, fabric woven from animal fiber (wool), grasses, fur (deer, buffalo, bison, seal, caribou and hides to make various types of clothing.  It was decorated with feathers, porcupine quills, and beads made of glass, bone, seeds, and shell.


Though one need least affected by geography, education was affected by local natural resources, which is affected by geography.  All Native Americans were taught to respect their elders, especially grandparents, who taught them.  Boys learned how to hunt local game, and girls were typically taught to prepare food, make clothes, and gather berries, among other things depending on the tribe’s practices.


In conclusion, the way Native Americans used various natural resources like plants and animals to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and clothing was very much affected by geography because geography determined what was available to them.



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