Native American artifacts are on display at the Trail of Tears Museum in Kentucky

Native American Heritage

Kentucky's First People

Over thousands of years, many indigenous peoples made their home in what is now Kentucky, including the Adena Culture, Mississippian Culture, Eastern Woodland Tribes and Fort Ancient mound builders. 

Several Native American sites, including mounds and burial grounds, tell a rich story of Kentucky’s history, and of our nation’s very beginnings. Institutions such as the Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum in Corbin promote understanding of the region’s indigenous peoples and their contributions to Appalachia and beyond. You can also visit two sites where Cherokee Indians crossed and camped during their arduous journey on the infamous Trail of Tears. 

We invite you to explore the legacy of Native American heritage throughout Kentucky, and immerse yourself in this part of our past, present and future.

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