For one thing, North American natives had a millennia old trading and communication system, before 1492, that were continental in scope. When my mother was working with the Makah tribe in NW Washington state, she discovered they made extensive use of Spanish glass beads in their decorations more than a century before white men discovered the tribe. All the diagonal streets in the City of Chicago existed as native trails before the city arrived, and were turned into plank roads for trade when the Town of Chicago less than 4,000 residents. Anyone who was comfortable living anywhere in the wild frontier knew of this and how to use it. And how to become part of it.