When giving school tours at a state historical park I used to work at, the first question I’d ask the children is to guess how many Native American tribes they thought there were in all 50 states. They’d always start out with somewhere around 10, and after a few more guesses, I’d offer a hint: “It’s somewhere between 573 and 575.”
Their eyes would wind toward the sky while their little minds did the math, until finally someone would yell out, “574!” Yes, there are that many federally recognized tribes in the United States today, with the number increasing as years goes on.
That being said, the lands all around us—even on which we currently stand—are the traditional homelands to indigenous peoples. Some of them have been designated as Native American heritage sites, which I’ve been privileged throughout the years to visit and hear stories about—from the brave Crazy Horse warrior to sacred refuges in the Grand Canyon, and even the original Native American tales of giant monsters in Monument Valley.