Louise Erdrich

Start Free Trial

What positive impact did the colonists arrival have on the Native Americans?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The main positive impact the Europeans had on the Native Americans was bringing the horse to North America.  Spanish horses escaped from their owners and the natives were able to domesticate them. Through years of breeding, tribes of Native Americans were able to create a distinct kind of horse that could subsist largely on forage and would be able to survive in varied temperatures. Before this, some Native Americans used dogs to move their housing. Now the horse could move housing and provide a relatively safe perch from which the hunters could shoot buffalo. Horses could also be used in battle, and stealing horses from an enemy tribe was considered a type of warfare. While European diseases wiped out millions of Native Americans and European firearms at the time of arrival in the Americas were not always preferable to Native bows, the horse is the best thing that Europeans added to Native culture.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team