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Native American Nations and 360 Degree Migration Around the Arctic Circle

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on indigenous peoples for over four decades.

A Sami family of the 1870s, part of related indigenous peoples around Sub-Arctic lands.

A Sami family of the 1870s, part of related indigenous peoples around Sub-Arctic lands.

Native American DNA is Found in Denmark and Iceland

DNA Evidence is Solid

Portions of the public and some ethnologists have fought hard in the last century to prove that Native North American DNA never landed in Iceland and probably not in Greenland. However, these claims have been disproved by archeologists who have uncovered the exact DNA that detractors tried to deny.

Indigenous Nations at the Top of the World

One human migration theory holds that the Thules on the west coast of Greenland became the Inuit that live across the northern parts of the North American Continent.

At the same time, DNA research shows that indigenous peoples migrated in the other direction, from West to East.

Together, the data shows that the Thules would need to have traveled from Greenland around the Arctic Circle clockwise to end up in Iceland.

While certain evidence links the Thules to the Inuit, no evidence yet links them to the Koreans; whereas Inuit peoples are genetically related to some degree to all other circumpolar/subpolar peoples, including northern Asians that encompass Koreans.

Therefore, the Thules did not give rise to the Inuits.

I think the People of the North in the Eastern Hemisphere must be the originals - not of all humankind perhaps, but of Northern Europe and Asia, from where they migrated to have commanded the Arctic Circle.

Interestingly, most People of the North and Native American Nations use names for their own tribes that mean "the people", "the first people", "the real people", etc.

The Korean term "han" translates as "the people", but with an additional sense or shading to suggest "the first and only people."

The People of the North in the Eastern Hemisphere number at least 41 separate nations or tribes. These nations migrated in order to find additional sources of food and habitation, just as other First Nations around the world have done over millennia of recorded history (6,000 years). The difference is that they began their migrations along the Arctic Circle and seemed not to have ventured southward until they reached Alaska.

From Alaska, they fanned out in separate groups and finally reached the tip of South America, migrated back up into the Ohio Valley, and met the Europeans that drove them back. One exception was the Mohawk Nation and other Iroquois, who assimilated large numbers of themselves into European-American society and became successful in business.

The People of the North that became Canada's First Nations seem to have journeyed all the way to the east coast and then further to Greenland and finally to Iceland, where they intermarried with the Northern Europeans/Scandinavians. The Saami of Norway, pictured above, are indigenous people that are ancestors of some Native Americans and they may have migrated northeast and west.

What is certain is that the ancestral nation tribes of today's Native American Nations live completely around the Arctic Circle. This is borne out by DNA evidence that also shows shared DNA between Iroquois (e.g. Mohawk) and Zulu nations, which also in some locales share the same word for "cousin." Another certainty is that Native Americans and Asians such as the Japanese metabolize alcohol similarly to one another, but differently from Europeans. This is a further genetic link.

Foundation stories and myths are similar all around the Arctic Circle. For example, the reindeer that pulls the sun up in the east in Scandinavia and Siberia becomes a dragon in Korea and once again a reindeer, elk, or bison in North America. The turtle is prominent in helping to form the earth in both some Asian as was as some Native American histories. Linguistics is another tacker of relatedness and we find similarities in various language elements among the various related People.

Native American Nations' DNA Tracked Across the Globe

  • The Arctic Council
    Native Peoples completely cover the Arctic Circle.
  • DNA Ancestry Maps
    We see (for just one example) that DNA from Mohawk Nation ("Apache"/"Cheyene" and other markers) is indeed found also in the Zulu inhabitants in Congo, Africa. This matches the existence of the same word for "cousin."
  • Inuit Circumpolar Council - Home
    The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) representing Inuit in Greenland/ Denmark, Canada, Alaska/USA and Chukotka/Russia

Arctic Peoples Are Similar

Arctic Circle Origins

In summation, the Arctic Circle gave us our Native American Nations spread all around the globe through the ancestry lines of the indigenous peoples that include at least:

  • The People of the North
  • Canadian First Nations
  • Native American and South American Nations
  • Intermarriage with Pacific Islanders
  • Intermarriage with Europeans
  • Small migrations into and intermarriage in Africa

As DNA Mapping is pursued further by Universities in Illinois and by the Smithsonian Institute, we are gaining more usable information day by day.

John Norton was Teyoninhokovrawen, b. 1809; a Mohawk Nation man.

John Norton was Teyoninhokovrawen, b. 1809; a Mohawk Nation man.

Questions that arise include:

  • Where is the information about a New Zealand tribe that is unrelated to the rest of current humans?
  • Are the Basque people significantly different genetically from any other group of humans on earth?
  • Are the Native Americans correct in saying "All My Relations"—all people and all living things are related genetically? This becomes increasingly interesting in light of the fact that scientists have determined that humans share a common ancestor not only with the ape world but with the sea anemone. That would be quite an ancestor.
Zulu Chief: Utimuni, nephew of Shaka Zulu

Zulu Chief: Utimuni, nephew of Shaka Zulu

Other Similarities Among Indigenous Peoples

Notice the similarities in the accompanying pictures of different cultures. An additional link is the fact that an Iroquois word for "cousin" was found to appear in a Zulu language dialect as well, with the same meaning, in the mid-1990s.

See the similarities of dress between the Zulu and the Mohawk shown below. There are other similarities as well.

Both nations also often used a ball of short feathers with one to three long feathers sticking straight up out of it at the crown of the head.

Mohawk Warrior

Mohawk Warrior

Dr. Steve Silverheels: Mohawk and Seneca

While many Native Americans took and have recently taken Caucasian names, they have retained their own as well.

Chief and Dr. Steve Silverheels is a Seneca and Mohawk Native American that operates a healing ministry and he comes from a famous line of Indigenous descendants:

Chief Silverheels's father, Jay Silverheels, portrayed Tonto in the Lone Ranger series on radio and television. Another relative, Chief Trainer Halftown, starred in Pony Express.

Chief Corn Planter was a Seneca War Chief, and the ancestor of Prophet Handsome Lake, who accepted Christ.


  • Ebenesersdóttir, S.S. et. al. A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in icelanders: Evidence of pre‐columbian contact? American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 92 - 99; 2010.
  • Perego, U.A., PhD. A Native American lineage in Iceland?; 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS

Comments & Additions

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 22, 2019:

I think you are right, Arlen! -- If we have any DNA at all, we are all related.

Arlen on October 22, 2019:

Hau Kola. I did my ancestry test a year ago by submitting my dna and it surprised me as I was told by my parents I had Irish on my mother's side and German on my father's side. I am Lakota mostly from north central South Dakota, the Cheyenne River Lakota Tribe. The test also showed Norwegian, Swedish, Kurdistan, Mongolian, Russian, Danish, and others as my descendants. Not surprised after reading the explanations. We have a saying in Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota, Mitakuye Owasi(n) or Mitakuye Oyasi(n) which means: We are all related, which means everything and everyone including the stars, insects, etc.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 15, 2012:

It is all very interesting and I keep my eye open for any news on this topic. I am happy that also enjoy it. from upstate, NY on June 15, 2012:

Congratuations on this masterpiece of a Hub! No doubt that the first 500 years after the Great Flood afforded a human migration that was severly limited later on due to rising ocean levels. I agree that their exists a similarity between northern Asians and native Americans including the poeples in the Arctic.

If ocean levels truly were considerably lower after the Great flood, which I believe them to be, it may be possible that poeples from even Africa or America could have migrated between the two continents. This is fascinating, some day no doubt we'll be able to connect the dots!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 29, 2012:

Old news old news. We've long thought that people came to North America either about 12,000 or 40,000 years ago. The Northern Europeans like the Sammi are related to the Native North Americans anyway. It's all related. Cool, huh?

kathy c. on February 29, 2012:

What about this? Adds an exciting further complexity to human migrations:


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 07, 2011:

Lovely words. Thank you for the words and the connections.

GYIA on December 07, 2011:

a dakota would say:

„Rakattu ja dizet, ill ja füsti Hezod – Rakattu ja dizet, ill ja füsti hezod”

and im a hungarian, so i can understand:

„Megrakták a tüzet, száll a füstje Hozzád – Nagyszellem Dédapa (Öregisten), add nekünk Szellemedet!”

"the fire is ready, the smog fly to you, Big Soul Grandpa give your spirit to us!"

Psycho Gamer from Earth on May 20, 2011:

what a freaking beautiful article...from time to time i read reports from anthropology conventions...about various subjects....i think all that about the immigrations r just speculations and theories...we will never know what really happened....100%...

htodd from United States on May 01, 2011:

That's really a great hub!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 18, 2011:

I'm 3/8 Mohawk. Most of the Mohawks in US are not recognized by the federal or any state govt; one band is recognized by Feds and operates a casino on the national border in NY/CAN. In fact, in the 1990s and early 2000s, many were forced north over the NY/Canadian border within the reservation lands, to remain in Canada. There are very few left in US. These have not been assimilated, but moved off or eliminated. I remember seeing Native Americans in the news as both NY State Police and Mohawk Police on the reservation, these two police forces in a skirmish. My own relatives were completely assimilated by the later 1800s.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 29, 2010:

moncrieff - That could help explain why Hungarian language is related to Finnish. Maybe both genetics and environment input to facial features over time. I wish I could find it, but some passage in the Old Testament speaks of the third earth, almost as if there were three species of humans. Could be some overlap. Thanks for posting!

moncrieff on November 28, 2010:

Great subject and hub. The Sami people is part of the same Ural family that includes Finns, Estonians, Hungarians, and Komi. I've always wondered about their facial features (especially those living along the Polar circle): is it the geographical enviroment or genetics that connected them to the Eskimos and Aleutians?

DNA anthropology is great. I read somewhere that besides humans there were other rival species with similar skills and development that eventually went extinct 40-100 thousand years ago.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 21, 2010:

It's a possibility, surely. Thanks!

Wejitu on November 21, 2010:

Algonquian Algic peoples of Eastern and Central Canada have distant connections with people from Altai Krai area of Russia. The DNA markers do not show up in the route across Beringa. The markers do show up in Greenland. One could suppose from this that the Algonquian Algic peoples migrated from Russian to Eastern/Central Canada via Northern Canada and Greenland. The Greenland markers could have come from someone "passing through". One could say such a migration could account for the presence of Ramah Chert in Main, USA (The chert was taken there by migrating peoples and not because of some trade relationship. It could be said The Algonquian language goes from Eastern Canada to Central Canada and not from West to East. Just saying.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 10, 2008:

It is truly fascinating, as you can tell.

In college the first time, I learned about migration southward and back up into the Ohio Valley. Then as part of my martial arts study for my 3rd and 4th degree black belts, I discovered the cultural links between South Koreans (not the North, but the South, as is evidenced by the DNA), Native Americnas and the People of the North.

The DNA projects have linked up all the people around the Arctic Cirlce. I feel gratified that I was able to find a part of the earlier cultural and lingusitic evidence on my own.  

Cory Zacharia from Miami Beach, Florida on January 10, 2008:

Dear Patty: I've long wondered about this topic and now know where to start reading. Thanks for another fascinating hub!!!