Native Americans (also called Aboriginal Americans, American Indians, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the people, and their descendants, who were in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean Islands when Europeans arrived. There are many different tribes of Native American people, with many different languages. There are more than three million Native Americans in Canada and the U.S. combined. Approximately 51 million Native Americans live in Latin America.
Sometimes these people are called "Indians", but this is confusing, because it is the same word used for people from India. When Christopher Columbus was travelling West, he did not know about the Americas. He thought he was going to India, so he called the people "Indians".
Many Native Americans died after the Europeans came to the Americas, from diseases that came with the Europeans that were new to the Native Americans, in battle with the Europeans, or because the Europeans made them work as slaves. Most of the native people were hurt or killed by settlers who took their lands.
Native American Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.