American Indians serve in their country’s armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group, and they have served with distinction in every major conflict for over 200 years.

Too many times people pigeonhole Native American culture in a specific time like seen from a history book. American Indian history continues to change and evolve.

Native history includes many contributions to modern society, government, music, and more.

Here are 4 facts you probably didn’t know!

1. Oral Contraception

Did you know that they were the first to use oral contraceptive methods using herbs?

Native Americans were taking birth control in the 1700 as per historical records.

Hopi tribe used the Indian paintbrush plant to prevent pregnancy. While the Navajo nation used the Western stoneseed plant and made it into a birth control tea 200 years before modern contraception was even devised.

2. Celestial Navigation

We know many indigenous people use celestial bodies such as the sun, moon and the stars to navigate the seas, in farming and aquaculture as well as in their daily activities.

The Skidi Pawnee tribe of Nebraska, are advanced astronomers, mapping out the night sky to track time. One artifact that came from the tribe is the Skidi Star Chart – a map of the stars/cosmos on buffalo skin. They’ve been using this system since the 1500’s.

3. Military Service

According to Kevin Gover (Pawnee),

American Indians serve in their country’s armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group, and they have served with distinction in every major conflict for over 200 years.

In World War 1 over 10,000 natives were obligated to register and drafted to war. They were not even recognized as citizens of the United States but served in the armed forces

4. Baby Bottles

Native Americans invented the first baby bottle and baby food alternative to mother’s milk.

Mothers made the alternative feeding tube for babies from bear intestines with bird quill to form the nipple. The tube was filled with a mix of meat, berries, and nuts. It was cooked until the mixture turned to liquid. Another baby food or milk alternative was corn and water mixture.