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Many Native Americans are multiracial in ancestry while identifying fully as members of federally recognized tribes.
The American people are mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various culturally distinct immigrant groups, many of which have now developed nations.
Multiracial Americans are Americans who have mixed ancestry of "two or more races".
The term may also include Americans of mixed-race ancestry who self-identify with just one group culturally and socially (cf. In the 2010 US census, approximately 9 million individuals, or 2.9% of the population, self-identified as multiracial.
(The practice of providing for the children was more common in French and Spanish colonies, where a class of free people of color developed who became educated and property owners.) Many other white fathers abandoned the mixed-race children and their mothers to slavery.
The change increased white men's ability to use slave women sexually, as they had no responsibility for the children.
As master as well as father of mixed-race children born into slavery, the men could use these people as servants or laborers or sell them as slaves.
In the 17th century, faced with a continuing, critical labor shortage, colonists primarily in the Chesapeake Bay Colony, imported Africans as laborers, sometimes as indentured servants and, increasingly, as slaves.
African slaves were also imported into New York and other northern ports by the Dutch and later English.
In many instances, mixed racial ancestry is so far back in an individual's family history (for instance, before the Civil War or earlier), that it does not affect more recent ethnic and cultural identification.