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Native American History: 9000 BC to AD 1699

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Native American History: 9000 BC to AD 1699

The earliest known settlers on the Mississippi’s Gulf Coast was the emergence of Native Americans about 10,000 years ago. Little is known about these cultures because many sites from this time are now underwater. We do know that these native tribes made full use of the natural materials at hand.

Forest products were especially important to the Native Americans of the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. These trees were hollowed out to make canoes and used to build a shelter. Also, the forests allowed the native tribes to craft tools for fishing, weapons for hunting, and religious items for worship. In February 1699 the explorer Pierre Le Myne, Sieur d' Iberville encountered the Pascagoula and Biloxi natives crossing the Mississippi Sound in dugout canoes. The tribes were coming from one of the barrier islands. The European explorers chased the tribes inland, where they fled. It was at this point that the Europeans began colonizing Mississippi’s coastal regions.

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Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
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