Native Americans didn’t use sign language solely for deaf people, as we do nowadays. They referred to it as “hand talk,” to enable different tribes, with varying languages, to communicate with one another. This helped in times of trading, conflict, or council when they relied solely on hand movements to prove their point. It’s all thanks to the Native Americans, though, that we have sign language to communicate with deaf people. We took many of their signs and instilled them into modern-day sign language (Discover Magazine).