National Tribal Healthy Homes Assessment, Training & Technical Assistance Support Center
Information for Educators
-Traditional American Indian Housing
-No-Cost or Low-Cost "Action Steps" for Mitigating Home Health Hazards
-Room-By-Room Checklist and Remedies
-What's Wrong With This Picture?
-Links & Resources
-Materials & Literature
Traditional American Indian Housing (back to menu)
In Native American culture, the dwelling was far more than a physical shelter. For many Native Americans, the house was a physical and spiritual representation of the universe. Native Americans saw themselves as one component of nature, sharing a living spirit that pervaded everything—animate (living) and inanimate (nonliving) objects alike. For example, peoples of the Great Plains felt it was a privilege to live in dwellings covered with the skin of the buffalo and thus to partake of the spirit of the animal that provided nearly all their food. Before peoples of the Pacific Northwest built a house, they asked permission of the earth to disturb the ground so they could make the house. They would offer prayers to the red cedar if they needed a log for the house.
When Europeans first ventured onto the continent, hundreds of individual nations or tribal groups lived throughout North America —each using local building materials and adapting their housing and way of life to the local climate. Within the United States , at least ten geographic and cultural regions evolved, each of which corresponded with a geographic and climatic zone. In each region, one or at most two distinctive house types tended to prevail. These traditional dwellings, unique to a region, evolved over thousands of years in response to a way of life, to readily available building materials, and to local climates. Houses built in one region would have been impractical and uncomfortable if built in a different region. More important, because houses served as models of the universe, they would have no meaning in another region.
Learn all about these traditional American Indian housing types:
-Northeastern Houses - Longhouse
-Southeastern Houses - Wattle and Daub
-Southeastern Houses - Chickee
-Great Plains - Tipi (or Tepee)
-Arctic - Igloo (or Iglu)
-Northwestern Houses - Plank House
-Southwestern Houses - Hogan
-Southwestern Houses - Pueblo
-Southwestern Houses - Cliff Dwelling
No-Cost or Low-Cost "Action Steps for Mitigating Home Health Hazards (back to menu)
Many home health hazards have easy no-cost or low-cost remedies. Click here to see a list of "Action Steps" adapted from our popular publication, Help Yourself to a Healthy Home.
Room-By-Room Checklist & Remedies (Back to Menu)
We've made it easy for you to examine your home room-by-room and find remedies for any health and safety issues you may find. Click here to print the checklist and then use your copy of Help Yourself to a Healthy Home to learn about the many no-cost or low-cost ways of making your home and family healthier and safer.
-Don't have a copy of Help Yourself to a Healthy Home? Click here and request your free copy.
-Click here to get the asbestos handout referenced on the room-by-room checklist.
What's Wrong With This Picture? (back to menu)
Test your knowledge of health and safety hazards by checking out this gallery and guessing "what's wrong with this picture?"
Links & Resources (back to menu)
Click here to go the the Links & Resources page where you'll find information on all kinds of home and health issues and hazards.
Materials & Literature (back to menu)
There are many resources available to educators. Click here to see available materials and learn how to download or order them.