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NYC Deep History: See The Native American Sites From the Big Apple

Long prior to the arrival of the Europeans (initially the Dutch) to what is now New York, it had been inhabited by Indigenous peoples – specifically the Lenape peoples. They lived throughout the region for centuries. Likewise it's possible to also find much of the deeper history of the location on New york. On Long Island, one can learn about both Native American and early Dutch history – and how they came into conflict using the English.

If one is thinking about the early colonial history of the United States, then many of the country's oldest surviving colonial buildings come in and around Nyc. The Big Apple is really a city having a rich history, only one that's starkly as opposed to the huge high-rise buildings that dominate it today.

Locations Of Native Historical Interest In Manhattan

While today Manhattan looks very much not the same as what it really did in the Lenape and pre-colonial period, one can still visit a number of known historical places. Even when there are modern buildings towering over them now. It can sometimes be difficult to imagine that the The big apple wasn't always ny. 400 years ago it had been a smattering of villages along with a wooded landscape.

  • Broadway: Originally Broadway was a Footpath In Manhattan which was Developed by Native Travelers. It Connected Different Villages And Later Became a Road Used by Colonists
  • Greenwich Village: Was A Lenape Village Called “Sapokanik” (Meaning “Tobacco Field”) It Was Additionally a Place Of Trading and Canoe Landing
  • Inwood Hill Park: The website Of The 1626 Change in Manhattan Island From The Lenape Chief to Peter Minuit (the brand new Dutch Colony's director-general)
  • Astor Place: Would be a Powwow Point For The Lenape Tribes Of Manhattan – Was Known As “Kintecoying” or Crossroads of Three Nations”
  • Jeffrey's Hook: For hundreds of years The Narrowest Area of the Hudson River Between Manhattan and New Jersey Was A Crossing Point
  • Lower East Side: The website Were 120 Munsees were Massacred By Dutch Soldiers In What Because the Nechtank Settlement (Where the Manhattan Bridge Meets Chinatown)

The Native American Heritage from the Big Apple

According to Barnard College, there are five sovereign and recognized nations which are Lenape, the city's indigenous people. But in the major upheavals in the time that followed European arrival, few are around today and the Lenape make up a diaspora today.

In the last census, around 180,000 people in Nyc identified as either fully or partially “American Indian or Alaska Native” – that's around 2% of people.

  • Population: Around 2% of NYC Identifies As Fully or Partially “American Indian or Alaska Native”
  • November: Recognition of National American Indian Heritage Month

During construction works in Manhattan, ancient Native American artifacts are sometimes discovered. In 1906, during the construction from the subway in the Lower East Side (at the corner of Cherry and Oliver Streets), buried dugout canoes were found.

  • Artifacts: Sometimes Native American Artifacts Are Discovered During Construction

There will also be names all over the city that take their names from Lenape words. Examples include Gowanus and Canarsie.

National Museum Of The American Indian – NYC

If one would prefer to delve deeply in to the Native American good reputation for the New York City region, then consider going to the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. It features extensive exhibits by contributing to Native Americans.

  • National Museum Of The American Indian: Includes a Branch In Washington D.C. as well as in New York City
  • Opened: In 1922 (First In NYC)

The museum was inside a building on 155th Street and Broadway, however it was later relocated to Washington, D.C. A branch from the museum was moved to NYC towards the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green.

The NYC branch from the museum houses a permanent collection called “Infinity of Nations” with more than 700 items. Exhibitions in the museum include:

  • “Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces”
  • “Stretching the Canvas: Eight Decades of Native American Painting”
  • “Infinity of Nations” collection


There isn't any fee to go in the museum (both in Nyc and D.C.) and no tickets are required (out of the box normal with the museums located in Washington D.C.).

New York Museum Branch:

  • Opening Hours: Open from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Days Open: Monday through Friday
  • Admission Fee: Free

The museum also boasts a large store of authentic Native American merchandise. The store features items from a wide representation of Native groups, offering apparel, art, literature, jewelry, food, and much more for all ages. People in the museum get a 10% discount for purchases made at the store.

As one travels nationwide, pop into different museums along the way and find out how much their languages, cultures, and traditions changed and contrasted.

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