ronnewmexico wrote: Few inidans were ever kept as slaves by the americans, which may speak a bit to their status in things.
Not true, many Indians were sold into slavery.
As far as slavery among North American Indians
"Many Native American tribes did practice some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America; but none exploited slave labor on a large scale.
Native American groups frequently enslaved war captives whom they primarily used for small-scale labor. Some, however, were used in ritual sacrifice. Although not much is known about them, there is little evidence that these slaves were considered racially inferior to the Native Americans who held power over them. Nor did Native Americans buy and sell captives in the pre-colonial era, although they sometimes exchanged enslaved individuals with other tribes in peace gestures or in exchange for their own members. In fact, the word "slave" may not even accurately apply to these captive people. Most of these so-called Native American slaves tended to live on the fringes of Native American society and were slowly integrated into the tribe.
Until European settlers arrived, these slaves were other tribesmen. The situation of these enslaved Native Americans varied among the tribes. In many cases, enslaved captives were adopted into the new tribes to replace warriors killed during a raid. Enslaved warriors sometimes endured mutilation or torture that could end in death as part of a grief ritual for relatives slain in battle. Some Native Americans would cut off one foot of their captives to keep them from running away. Others allowed enslaved captives to marry the widows of slain husbands. The Creek, who engaged in this practice, treated children born of slaves and tribal members as full members of the tribe rather than as enslaved offspring. Several tribes held captives as hostages for payment. Various tribes also practiced debt slavery or imposed slavery on tribal members who had committed crimes; full tribal status would be restored as the enslaved worked off their obligations to the tribal society. Other such slave-owning tribes of North America included Comanche of Texas, Creek of Georgia, the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, that lived along the coast from what is now Alaska to California, the Pawnee, and Klamath.
When the Europeans “discovered” the Native Americans they began to participate in the slave trade. Native Americans, in their initial encounters with the Europeans, attempted to use their captives from other tribes as a “method of playing one tribe against another” in an unsuccessful game of divide and conquer.
The Haida and Tlingit who lived along southeast Alaska's coast were traditionally known as fierce warriors and slave-traders, raiding as far as California. In their society, slavery was hereditary after slaves were taken as prisoners of war. Among some Pacific Northwest tribes, as many as one-fourth of the population were slaves."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_am ... ted_States