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History of the Midwest Region, Part 1



History of the Midwest Region, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.23

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Archeologists, mink, Saulte, swedish, slavery, solution, trapping, cattle, natural, settled, ordinary, schools, cooler, valuable, layer, journey
     content words:    Native Americans, Mound Builders, Atlantic Coast, Great Lakes, Lawrence River, Great Plains, Sioux Nation, Black Hills, South Dakota, North Dakota


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History of the Midwest Region, Part 1
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Open plains, cattle, and pioneers are part of the Midwest Region's history. The first people to live in the area were Native Americans. Archeologists have found artifacts from people who lived more than 1,000 years ago.
 
2     A mound was discovered near St. Louis, Missouri. This mound was no ordinary pile of stone and dirt. It had artifacts like tools and pots. Archeologists have called this area Cahokia. They believe that in 1100 it was a major trading center. The mounds were found where three rivers meet. These rivers are the Missouri, the Illinois, and the Mississippi. Those who live there were called the Mound Builders. Other major Indian groups moved to the region. The Ojibwa migrated to the Midwest from the Atlantic Coast. They lived around the area of the Great Lakes. The St. Lawrence River was their highway. Most of the Ojibwa had started settlements in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan by mid-1600. They hunted in the area's forests and fished in nearby rivers. Due to the forests, there was very little flat land for farming. The climate was also different. It was much cooler during the summer. Other tribes in the area were the Ottawa and the Sioux.
 
3     The Sioux lived in the Great Plains. They were also known as the Dakota. Seven major tribes were part of the Sioux Nation. They lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Their communities were also found in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota. The Sioux hunted buffalo on the Great Plains. After Spanish explorers came to the region, they used horses during their hunts.
 
4     During the 1600's, the first Europeans arrived to the region. They came to Great Lakes area. These explorers traded with the Ojibwa and other tribes. They would trade guns, cloth, and knives for beaver skins. Beavers were not found in Europe. In fact, animal skins were very valuable to the Europeans. Traders from France would come to the area. They worked with the Native Americans to trap animals. In addition to beaver, they also caught mink and otter.
 
5     In 1673 two French explorers made their way to Wisconsin. Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet started their trip at Lake Michigan. They also sailed down part of the Mississippi River. As they returned, they sailed on the Illinois River. This brought them to Wisconsin. The explorers started a French mission in the area of Green Bay. Fur traders also used their route when they came to North America.

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