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The Clovis culture, a megafauna hunting culture, is primarily identified by the use of fluted spear points.

Artifacts from this culture were first excavated in 1932 near Clovis, New Mexico.

By comparison, the indigenous peoples of Canada are generally known as First Nations.

It is not definitively known how or when the Native Americans first settled the Americas and the present-day United States.

The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.

Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations.

William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492"; "The decline of native American populations was rapid and severe, probably the greatest demographic disaster ever. In many regions, particularly the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact.

Expansion of European-American populations to the west after the American Revolution resulted in increasing pressure on Native American lands, warfare between the groups, and rising tensions. This resulted in the ethnic cleansing of many tribes, with the brutal, forced marches coming to be known as The Trail of Tears.

As American expansion reached into the West, settler and miner migrants came into increasing conflict with the Great Basin, Great Plains, and other Western tribes. Contemporary Native Americans have a unique relationship with the United States because they may be members of nations, tribes, or bands with sovereignty and treaty rights.

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" Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. vary significantly, ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 work The Native Population of the Americas in 1492, to 18 million in Henry F Dobyns's Their Number Become Thinned (1983). or forced) became a consistent policy through American administrations.