Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...
who inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...
. They ranged from present day Cape Canaveral
Cape Canaveral, from the Spanish Cabo Cañaveral, is a headland in Brevard County, Florida, United States, near the center of the state's Atlantic coast. Known as Cape Kennedy from 1963 to 1973, it lies east of Merritt Island, separated from it by the Banana River.It is part of a region known as the...
to the St. Lucie Inlet
St. Lucie Inlet, Florida
The St. Lucie Inlet, Florida is located between Hutchinson Island and Jupiter Island in Martin County, Florida, at coordinates . The St. Lucie Inlet is one of six inlets into the Indian River Lagoon....
, in the present day counties of Brevard
Brevard County, Florida
Brevard County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida, along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As of 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the population is 536,521, making it the 10th most populous county in the state. Influenced by the presence of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard...
, Indian River
Indian River County, Florida
Indian River County is a county located in the Treasure Coast region in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 112,947. The U.S. Census Bureau 2005 estimate for the county is 128,594...
, St. Lucie
St. Lucie County, Florida
St. Lucie County is a county located in the state of Florida. The county seat is the city of Fort Pierce. In the year 2000, the population was 192,695. As of the year 2010, the United States Census Bureau sets the population at 277,789.- History :...
and northernmost Martin
Martin County, Florida
Martin County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 126,731. The U.S. Census Bureau 2008 estimate for the county is 138,660. Its county seat is Stuart, Florida.- History :...
. They lived in villages and towns along the shores of the great lagoon called Rio de Ais by the Spanish, and now called the Indian River
Indian River (Florida)
The Indian River is a waterway in Florida, a part of the Indian River Lagoon system which forms the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. It extends southward from the Ponce de Leon inlet in New Smyrna Beach, Florida [Volusia County] southward and across the "Haulover Canal" and along the western shore...
The name Ais is derived from a great Indian Cacique (Chief).
Little is known of the origins of the Ais, or of the affinities of their language.