The Native Americans is a three-part American television documentary miniseries that premiered on TBS on October 10, 1994. The remaining two episodes aired on October 11 and 13, 1994. Directed by John Borden, Phil Lucas and George Burdeau, the six-hour series explores the history of Native American cultures, with each hour of the series devoted to a particular region of the United States.
Music for the series was composed by Robbie Robertson in collaboration with other Native American and Canadian First Nations musicians, including Ulali, Rita Coolidge, Douglas Spotted Eagle and Kashtin, and was released on the album Music for The Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska and the island state of Hawaii. They comprise a large number of distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The terminology used to refer to Native Americans is controversial: according to a 1995 US Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an express preference continue to refer to themselves as American Indians or Indians.
European colonization of the Americas led to centuries of conflict and adjustment between Old and New World societies. Most of the written historical record about Native Americans was made by Europeans after initial contact. Native Americans lived in hunter/farmer subsistence societies with significantly different value systems than those of the European colonists. The differences in culture between the Native Americans and Europeans, and the shifting alliances among different nations of each culture, led to great misunderstandings and long lasting cultural conflicts.
Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the United States of America vary significantly, ranging from 1 million to 18 million.
After the colonies revolted against Great Britain and established the United States of America, the ideology of Manifest destiny became integral to the American nationalist movement. In the late 18th century, George Washington and Henry Knox conceived of the idea of "civilizing" Native Americans in preparation of American citizenship. Assimilation (whether voluntary as with the Choctaw, or forced) became a consistent policy through American administrations. In the early 19th century, most Native Americans of the American Deep South were removed from their homelands to accommodate American expansion with some groups presently residing in Alabama, Florida, Lousianna, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. By the American Civil War, many Native American nations had been relocated west of the Mississippi River. Major Native American resistance took place in the form of "Indian Wars," which were frequent up until the 1890s.
Native Americans today have a unique relationship with the United States of America because they can be found as members of nations, tribes, or bands of Native Americans who have sovereignty or independence from the government of the United States. Their societies and cultures still flourish amidst a larger immigrated American populace of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and European peoples. Native Americans who were not already U.S. citizens were granted citizenship in 1924 by the Congress of the United States.