Native American a Cultural Diversity

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The American Indian is a very unique and integral part of Amreican history,with a very rich and beautiful cultural background.There are over 558 federally recognized tribes in America right now,and another 126 who have applied for federal recognition.At the time of first contact with Europeans, the United states was fully occupied by Indian Nations and some 300 Indian languages existed,approximately 106 of which are still spoken.The diversity and hetrogeneity of the American Indian community cannot be overstated. According to the 2000 Census there are 4.1 million people who identify themselves as Ameican Indian (either alone or in combination with other races)in the United States.About half the of the Indian population 60 years and older lived 5 states in 2000:Olahoma(18%),California (13%),Arizona(9%),NewMexico(9%),and North Carolina(5%).The other states with a large number of American Indian elderly are Alaska, New York, Texas, Washington, and Michigan. The 2000 census identified 27% of AI/AN women, and 18% of AI/AN men, age 60 and over, living alone.Also there are now more people who identify themselves as Indian in urban areas (62%)than on reservations and other rural areas, according to the 2000 Census. In this urban Indianism, individuals from many different tribal backgrounds band together to preserve their cultural heritage and develop culturally relevant services, programs and activities(this is referred to as Pan-Indianism) .The 2000 Census also indicated that: 84% of American Indian elders reported income of less than $20,000( the highest percentage of any ethnic group) ,19% of American Indian elders receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), (also proportionately higher than any other ethnic group), one in ten American Indian elders reports some mobility limitation but not self-care limitation; one in five American Indian elders lives in housing without a telephone; and one in every eight American Indian elders received less than a fifth grade...
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