From the "Trail of Tears" to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, the narrative of American history is incomplete without the inclusion of the Native Americans that lived on the continent before European settlers arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the first contact between natives and settlers, tribes like the Sioux, Cherokee, and Navajo have both fascinated and perplexed outsiders with their history, language, and culture. In Charles River Editors' Native American Tribes series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the history and culture of North America's most famous native tribes in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
From 1804-1806, the first American expedition across the North American continent was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, who had recently bought a vast swath of territory from France. Though he knew he had bought a huge amount of land, Jefferson wasn't entirely sure of what he had bought, so he asked a team led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to traverse the continent until they reached the Pacific, studying everything from the ecology to geography along the way to get an understanding of the country's new region.
Lewis and Clark would find far more than they bargained for. The 33 members who made the trip came into contact with about two dozen Native American tribes, and none were more important than the Shoshone, who the expedition referred to as "Snake" Indians.
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