Famous Native Americans

Native American Indian people refer to such people who lived on the American continent before the Europeans arrived. Columbus was the first European to arrive at the Americas in 1492. Before this, the Europeans had no idea that there was a large continent in the west.

Native Americans had been living in the Americas for thousands of years. They lived in many tribes and separate territories all over the North, Central and South America. Following are some of the most famous people who belonged to the Native American tribes.

Black Hawk

Black Hawk was the Famous leader of the Native American Sauk tribe

Read more about the Black Hawk >>


Hiawatha - Hiawatha is a legendary figure for North Americans. He was a diplomat, shaman, and a lawgiver Read more about the Hiawatha >>


Pocahontas was a Native American Indian who's name Her name 'Pocahontas' was actually a nickname which meant 'the naughty one' Read more about the Pocahontas >>


Pocahontas was the daughter of a powerful chief of the Powhatan tribe. This tribe lived close to the eastern edge of modern-day USA. When white settlers from Britain first came to America, they settled along the eastern coast. Some Native American tribes helped them but others attacked them because they saw them as invaders.

Pocahontas persuaded her father to help the white settlers at the Jamestown settlement. She eventually married John Rolfe, one of the white settlers at Jamestown. She then went to Britain with Rolfe although she died on her way back.


Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull was a famous leader of the Sioux tribes. During the 19th century, USA was expanding towards the west. During this expansion, USA took over the territories of many Native American tribes. This angered the Native Americans and some of them decided to fight back.

Sitting Bull led the warriors of many Sioux tribes and fought against the U.S. army. He famously routed the U.S. army at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Later, Sitting Bull surrendered to the U.S. army and lived for many years at a reservation. He was shot and killed in 1890 by a member of the Indian police.


Geronimo was a famous Native American leader. His name became synonymous with bravery and resistance to the power of the white man. By the mid-19th century, the territories of modern-day Arizona came into U.S. possession. They were previously under Mexican control.

At the time, Geronimo and other Apache tribes lived in Arizona. The white settlers gradually started pouring into Arizona and taking over the territories which traditionally belonged to the Apache.

Eventually, the Apache were forced to live on federal reservation sites. Geronimo and his band of followers broke out of this reservation a number of times.

They caused embarrassment to the government, defied the army and showed that they valued freedom above all. Ultimately, Geronimo surrendered in 1886, bringing his escapades and adventures to an end.

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse was a Lakota Sioux warrior and one of the main Native American leaders who fought alongside Sitting Bull. He fought at the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn.

He fiercely resisted the white settlers who took over the ancestral lands of the Native Americans. To this end, he fought a number of battles against the U.S. army. Ultimately, Crazy Horse was captured by the U.S. army in 1877 and shot in a scuffle during his arrest. He died of his wounds.


Tecumseh belonged to the Shawnee Indians. He was a very active figure of Native American resistance against American expansion in the 19th century. His brother was a religious figure who sought to bring a spiritual revival among the Native Americans.

Tecumseh used his brother’s following to create a political movement in order to resist the U.S. forces. He even established an all-new town known as Prophetstown.

However, he was defeated in what became known as the Tecumseh’s war. He later fought alongside British forces in the War of 1812 and died in 1813.



Black Hawk

Black Hawk was a famous Native Indian leader of the Sauk tribe who fought the Black Hawk War against American forces in 1832. Before this war, Black Hawk had participated in the War of 1812 and fought against U.S. armies.

He fought the American forces hoping to push them out of the Midwest territories, where his tribe had traditionally lived for a long time. In 1832, he gathered a group of Native American warriors and started attacks on the white settlers in modern-day Wisconsin and Illinois.

Before the end of the year, Black Hawk and his forces were defeated. He surrendered to the U.S. government and lived the rest of his days as a famous Native Indian.

Chief Joseph

During the second half of the 19th century, U.S. forces were busy in subduing the Native Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest. The U.S. army simply wanted to remove these tribes and place them in a reservation.

The Nez Perce tribe under the leadership of Chief Joseph decided to resist this. They started the Nez Perce War. In this war, the Nez Perce warriors fought multiple engagements with the U.S. army.

They were able to avoid defeat and continue their journey towards the Canadian border where they hoped to find refuge. Chief Joseph led hundreds of men, women and children on this 1170-mile journey.

During the journey, he was able to fight off the pursuing U.S. troops, keep his people together and continue the march without surrender. This earned him widespread admiration.

He and his tribe were finally cornered by the U.S. army just 40 miles from the Canadian border. At this point, he surrendered and was taken to an Indian reservation.



Red Cloud

Red Cloud was a chief of the Lakota Indians who famously resisted the expansion of USA in the 1860s. At the time, U.S. wanted to establish a road through the Lakota territory.

This threatened to disrupt the lifestyle of the Lakota Indians. Red Cloud decided to resist this and started a fight which became known as Red Cloud’s War.

This war lasted for nearly two years. This was one of the most successful wars for the Native American tribes. They attacked U.S. forts, scared off the white settlers and effectively thwarted the objectives of the U.S. government.

Ultimately, U.S. government was forced to discuss a peace treaty with them. As a result of the treaty, Red Cloud ended the war and agreed to move to a reservation.