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Any member of various Native American tribes that formerly inhabited the Great Plains of the U.S. and southern Canada. Plains Indians are popularly regarded as the typical American Indians. They were essentially big-game hunters, the buffalo being a primary source of food and equally important as a source of materials for clothing, shelter, and tools. Until supplanted by the white settlers from the 16th century onward, the Plains Indians occupied the area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, which includes portions of both the United States and Canada. It is a vast grassland stretching from northern Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada to the Rio Grande border of Texas. The Arapaho, Assiniboin, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Plains Cree, Crow, Hidatsa, Kiowa, Mandan, Osage, Pawnee, and Sioux are Plains Indians.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Plains Indian, visit Britannica.com.
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