In 1783 the Treaty of Paris set the official boundaries of the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, and from the Great Lakes to Spanish Florida. American Indians were not part of that treaty. As the United States grew westward, Indians were usually forced from the land of their ancestors.

In the stories that follow, researchers shed light on the decline and unlikely resurgence of American Indians, and a Carolina med student inspires volunteers to learn from and help North Carolina’s first people: