Searching through the annals of North American history uncovers the diverse and astounding contributions by the Natives of the Americas who formed the world we know today. In the Shadow of Our Ancestors explores the rich history of the indigenous peoples of North America and leaves us in awe of their stunning achievements and inventions:
The Great Law of Peace -- The ideals, words and symbols of the Iroquois Confederacy inspired the governments of the New World to form democracies that recognized, in their constitutions, the rights of all people
Cure for Scurvy -- When Jacques Cartier and his men were trapped by the winter ice dying of scurvy in what is now Canada, Chief Donnacona and his people helped to cure them by giving them a tea made from the needles of the white cedar tree, which have a high concentration of vitamin C
Potatoes -- The lowly potato, a staple food of Natives for almost 15,000 years, was unknown outside the Americas until Europeans arrived; now, with almost 4000 varieties, it is the fourth most-consumed agricultural product in the world
Sacagawea -- The settlement of western North America was inspired and influenced by the results of the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s, with the journey's success made possible because of a Native woman named Sacagawea, whose presence paved the way for the explorers to be seen as a peaceful party
Kayaks -- It may be that the Inuit of the Arctic were the first to circumnavigate the globe in these simple craft. Kayaks have been in use for at least 4000 years as a form of transportation and for hunting, and the technology spread throughout northern waters and was adopted by the Scots and the Irish
Code Talkers -- During World War II, more than 400 Navajo soldiers, recruited by the United States Marine Corps, transmitted secret tactical messages over military telephone or radio communications using codes built upon their Native languages.