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Do you know what portages are?

Portages are passages between rivers. When you portage, you carry your boat and all your belongings until you get to the next passable waterway. The Miami controlled many of the portages you see here. They "charged" people to use them, just like drivers are charged to use modern tollways.

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Do you know why all of the rivers don't have native names listed by them?

Native Americans of various cultures, all had their own names for rivers, lakes and places. However, much of that information has not been recovered yet. Much of it was lost during the upheaval and removal of most of the Native peoples of Indiana.

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Do you know what may have helped the British in the French and Indian War?

Germ warfare! According to documents, the British intentionally sent the tribes blankets that were infected with small pox - a deadly disease. A British officer said he hoped the blankets would "have the desired effect." Smallpox weakened many tribes, forcing them to make peace with the British.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith created these paper dolls to show the impact of European exploration on Native Americans. Click on the center image about blankets carrying the smallpox disease.

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Paper Dolls for a Post-Columbian World
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Flathead Salish)
Eiteljorg Museum: Fellowship for Native American Fine Art Purchase Fund

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Do you know when and where U.S. troops suffered their worst loss in battles against Native peoples?

Near present-day Ft. Wayne in 1781, Miami Chief Little Turtle and the Intertribal Confederacy defeated Gen. Arthur St. Clair and his army of 1,400.

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Do you know how many treaties were negotiated with Native peoples?

Between 1789 and 1850, the United States negotiated more than 200 treaties with Native peoples. The government bought 450 million acres of land... some for just pennies per acre.

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Do you know why the Miami call Indianapolis Ceekwihtonki?

Ceenkwihonki means "noise/thunder-flow-at place." it was named based on the falls along Fall Creek, north of Indianapolis.

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Do you know why the Potawatomi call South Bend "Ribbon Town"?

The Potawatomi say that when ribbon became available through trade, they would go in to "ribbon town" to get them. It's called z,banodan,g in Potawatomi.

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Do you know the controversy surrounding the origin of the name, Mishawaka?

Don't believe the myth about the Indian princess name Mishawaka. The Potawatomi say "Mishawaka" is from the Potawatomi work "mishwak" that means "stubbly, white earth," or "place of the blighted land." Linguists who study Native Languages are not convinced of the origin of the term "Mishawaka."

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