Severe Drop In Native American Population
When Christopher Columbus arrived at the “New World,” there were tens of millions of Native Americans inhabiting the land. But over the next few hundred years, the number would fall to well under 500,000.
As you’ve learned, many factors contributed to this sharp decline but some could have been avoided. On Sept. 8, 2000, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs formally apologized for its role in the “ethnic cleansing” of Native American tribes. Today, the number of people that identify as 100% American Indian or Alaska Native sits at 2.9 million.