Five Native Americans Who Shaped American Culture
November 23, 2022
From capturing the heart of a nation with awe-inspiring athleticism to elevating American ballet onto the world stage, Indigenous peoples have persisted in the face of systemic racism and oppression to make indispensable contributions to our society.
Here are five such Native Americans who have shaped American culture.
Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox Nation)
Jim Thorpe is lauded as one of the greatest professional athletes of the 20th century. Throughout his two-decade sports career, Thrope awed the world as a multi-sport athlete, winning two All-American titles, playing on a total of nine professional football and baseball teams, and netting two Olympic gold medals.
Born in Prague, Indian Territory - what is now the state of Oklahoma - Thorpe attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the flagship Indian Boarding School in the United States. At Carlisle, Thorpe competed in track and field, baseball, lacrosse, ballroom dancing and football, the latter under the tutelage of legendary early American football coach Pop Warner.