Although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many, especially in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture. The impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas. Although some societies depended heavily on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming, hunting and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, chiefdoms, states, kingdoms and empires. Among these are the Aztec, Inca and Maya states that until the 16th century were among the most politically and socially advanced nations in the world. They had a vast knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, writing, physics, medicine, planting and irrigation, geology, mining, sculpture and goldsmithing.
Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation on the route to their destinations. Many died, including 2,000-6,000 of 16,542 relocated Cherokee. European Americans and African American freedmen and slaves also participated in the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Seminole forced relocations.
Language families of indigenous peoples in North America: shown across present-day Canada, Greenland, the United States, and northern Mexico
Bill Reid's sculpture The Raven and The First Men (permanently installed at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver). The Raven represents the Trickster figure common to many mythologies.
Born to an Aymara family of subsistence farmers in Isallawi, Orinoca Canton, Morales undertook a basic education before mandatory military service, in 1978 moving to Chapare Province. Growing coca and becoming a trade unionist, he rose to prominence in the campesino (rural laborers) union, campaigning against U.S. and Bolivian attempts to eradicate coca as a part of the War on Drugs, which he denounced as an imperialist violation of indigenous Andean culture. He repeatedly engaged in anti-government direct action protests, resuting in multiple arrests. Entering electoral politics in 1995, he became the leader of the MAS and was elected to Congress. His campaign focused on issues affecting indigenous and poor communities, advocating land reform and the redistribution of gas wealth. Gaining increasing visibility through the Cochabamba protests and gas conflict, in 2002 he was expelled from Congress, though came second in that year's presidential election.