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American Indian Culture Regions. Intro. Imagine that you are an Alaskan Native. Describe what a day in your life would be like. Include: Where you live What you eat What you wear. American Indians are diverse!.

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Imagine that you are an Alaskan Native. Describe what a day in your life would be like.


Where you live

What you eat

What you wear

american indians are diverse

American Indians are diverse!

  • When Europeans first arrived in America, they noticed that the Natives were very diverse
  • Different cultures were developed by Native peoples, based on their environment
  • Scholars group Native Americans who shared similar cultures into culture regions (or culture areas)
what is a culture region

What is a culture region?

Culture Region:a geographic region which shares similar physical terrains, natural resources, and cultural characteristics

three characteristics of culture regions

Three Characteristics of Culture Regions

  • Physical terrain
  • Natural resources
  • Culture
physical terrain

Physical Terrain

Climate & Landforms

natural resources

Natural Resources

Plant and animal life

culture everything that makes up the way of life of a people

Cultureeverything that makes up the way of life of a people

  • Shelter
  • Tools
  • Language
  • Clothing
  • Arts
  • Religion
  • Government
10 culture regions

10 Culture Regions

  • Arctic
  • Subarctic
  • Northwest Coast
  • Plateau
  • Great Basin

6. California

7. Southwest

8. Great Plains

9. Northeast

10. Southeast


















  • Physical Terrain
  • Large, treeless plains, called tundra,
  • Frozen and snow-covered
  • Winters are long and severe
  • Blizzards
  • Natural Resources
  • Little vegetation
  • Dogs, used for hunting and hauling
  • Sea mammals major food source (seals, sea lions, sea otters, walruses, and whales)
  • Other game (polar bears, musk oxen, mountain sheep, wolves, wolverines, foxes, rabbits squirrels, and waterfowl.


  • Physical Terrain
  • Mostly interior (except Hudson Bay & Pacific coast)
  • Thick pine forests
  • Thousands of lakes, ponds, swamps, rivers, and streams
  • Long winters with deep snow and thick ice
  • Short summers
  • Natural Resources
  • Caribou
  • Large game (moose, deer, musk oxen, mountain sheep, bison)
  • Small game (beaver, mink, otter, porcupine, rabbit, squirrel, and waterfowl)
  • Seeds, berries, bark
northwest coast

Northwest Coast

  • Physical Terrain
  • Narrow coastal region
  • Cool & damp climate with mild wet winters and cool summers
  • Thick forests
  • Many rivers
  • Mountains
  • Evergreen forests
  • Natural Resources
  • Lots of food source: seals, sea lions, and fish (salmon, halibut, herring, cod, and flounder)
  • Hunted whales
  • Hunt deer, elk, bear, and mountain goat
  • They learned to dry their meat and fish with smoke


  • Physical Terrain
  • High plateau region, surrounded by desert & mountains
  • Rivers
  • Natural Resources
  • Small game
  • Wild plants (berries & edible roots)
  • Fish (Salmon)
  • Large game in the mountains (elk, deer, mountain sheep, bear)
great basin

Great Basin

  • Natural Resources
  • Sparse vegetation
  • Very little resources
  • Small game
  • Foragers
  • Physical Terrain
  • Very dry
  • Surrounded by mountains, plateaus, & deserts


  • Physical Terrain
  • Mountain ranges & Pacific coastal regions
  • Forest & deserts
  • Mild climate, with many warm days
  • Varied rainfall
  • Natural Resources
  • Acorns from oak trees
  • Wild plants (berries, nuts, seeds, roots)
  • Fish, seafood, small game, birds, deer


  • Physical Terrain
  • Mesas and canyons, Mountains, deserts
  • Few rains
  • Natural Resources
  • Evergreens (mountains), cactus
  • Small game (rabbits, birds, and rattlesnakes)
great plains

Great Plains

  • Physical Terrain
  • Large inland region
  • Rolling, fertile tall-grass prairies
  • Summers are typically hot and dry, and winters are long and harsh.
  • Natural Resources
  • American bison (buffalo)
  • Farmers
  • Berries


  • Physical Terrain
  • Temperate & humid climate
  • Hundreds of rivers, creating rich soil for agriculture.
  • Widespread forests
  • *** Sometimes the area is grouped with the Southeast culture area and referred to as the Eastern Woodlands.

Natural Resources

Animals (a variety of

game, large and small:

fish, deer, rabbit,

squirrel, beaver, and

various birds, such as

turkey, partridge, duck,

and goose; also hunted

moose, elk, and bear)



  • Physical Terrain
  • Semitropical
  • Humid and well-watered
  • Saltwater marshes, grasses, rich soils, swamplands, rounded hills, high grass, and rolling mountains
  • Natural Resources
  • Forests of pine trees
  • Animals (deer, squirrel, birds, fish)
on your index card
On your index card…

Choose a culture region DON’T write it on the card!

On the lined side

two animals,

two types of plant life, and

info about the climate

Remember DO NOT write which region!

Put your name on the back (blank side)

musical chairs
Musical Chairs

When the music starts move around the room

When it stops sit in the closest desk

Look at the card on your desk.

From what you know, what culture region does it belong in

One region at a time you will have a chance to tape your card in the right culture region



  • Southwest
  • Subartic
  • Great
  • Basin
  • California
  • Plateau
  • Great
  • Plains
  • Northwest
  • Coast
  • Northeast
  • Southeast
culture region project assignments

Culture Region Project Assignments

  • Arctic
  • Subarctic
  • Northwest Coast
  • Plateau
  • Great Basin


7. Southwest

8. Great Plains

9. Northeast

10. Southeast