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Prehistory: First Inhabitants
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Michigan Early History
First Early Inhabitants of Michigan
Early history examines the archaeological record that tells the story of the first inhabitants of Michigan. Learn about the prehistory and culture of the first early inhabitants, and what lessons it might teach us about the early history of Michigan.
Michigan First Early Inhabitants Timeline
Early History of Native Americans in Michigan
The Indigenous People of Michigan
Following the prehistoric inhabitants, Michigan's residents were the tribal groups of Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi Native Americans
When European explorers arrived in the Michigan region in the early 17th century it was already populated by Algonkian Indians. The Chippewa and Menominee tribes lived in the Upper Peninsula, while the Miami, Ottawa, and Potawatomi occupied the Lower Peninsula. The name "Michigan" actually came from the Chippewa word "Michigan," which means "great lake."
Before contact with the Europeans, these Native Americans lived by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Some tribes raised squash, corn, and rice. Clothing was made from the skins of animals they ate. Their tools were fashioned from animal parts such as bone and sinew. They constructed their homes of mud and bark.
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