The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Speaker talks Native American challenges

The Collegian Logo
The Collegian Logo

By Edgar Estrada/reporter

Drought, famine and war were some of the topics discussed at the Native American Heritage Month event Warfare in the Southwest Nov. 2 on TR Campus.

Jimmy Smith, curator of the Big Bear Native American Museum, said turmoil between Native American tribes occurred for many reasons.

“There were many great droughts which caused many tribes to relocate and march onto another tribe’s territory,” Smith said. “In fear of the invaders, the tribes were quick to eliminate the invading tribe and sometimes in horrific fashion.”

Droughts forced Native Americans into a unique diet with an interesting name.

“The resources they had for themselves were sometimes limited or scarce,” Smith said. “We now refer to their typical diet as the three sisters: squash, corn and beans.”

Due to the high elevation of some tribes, irrigation was difficult, Smith said. Only one tribe was known to have an extensive irrigation system.

“The Hohokam are the only ones that had an irrigation system,” he said. “They mysteriously disappeared around 1450. Other tribes would build their crops in valleys which rainwater would naturally flow down to.”

Students like sophomore Erica Estrada were glad to know about their cultural history.

“My great-grandmother is Apache,” Estrada said. “I’m interested in the future in visiting some of the various sites to go to, and I only know more about my Hispanic side and not the Native American side.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian