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  • Native American or American Indian?

    I know each of you who are Native are fiercely proud of the individual tribes that you are affiliated with. It would be nice for everybody in the world to automatically ask you what tribe you are. But not everyone does.

    I work in a position where I deal with the general public. I answer Native questions from children and scholars on a daily basis. One of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) I get is "Which is correct? Native American or American Indian?"

    My first response is, "Most Native people prefer to be called by their tribes."

    My second response is, "Being called Native American, American Indian and Indian is a generational self designation. Today, it is polically correct to say Native American. In my generation we are American Indian. In my father and grandfather's generation, they were called Indian."

    Aside from being called by your individual tribe(s), do you prefer to be referred as:

    1. Native American
    2. American Indian
    3. First Nation
    4. Indian
    5. Native
    6. Aboriginal
    7. Indigenous
    8. Leave me alone and don't call me anything? *L


    Why?
    Last edited by WhoMe; 07-08-2009, 10:01 AM.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    In your line of work, do you have a job application form that actually goes so far as to ask,,, :Are you a visible minority,if so which?"
    That gets to me each and every time I see it, what a way to peghole a person from the get go! Yet there is no racism intended at the work place!!! LOL so biast from the beginning.
    Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

    It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

    Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
    Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.

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    • #3
      I just prefer Native. *L* I guess b/c I heard when the Census came out with Native American, people were marking that b/c they said they were native to America.....whatever. American Indian makes people think of people here from India, etc. But yeah, tribe would be good but most people mistake natives for Mexicans b/c so many think real natives don't exist anymore. *L* We're not all washed out. Some of us still look native!!!!!!



      Mussy by birth.....Native by the Grace of God.......


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tibiki Kinew View Post
        In your line of work, do you have a job application form that actually goes so far as to ask,,, :Are you a visible minority,if so which?"

        Tib,

        There were no questions about my ethnicity when I applied for my job. But I was hired for my knowledge of Indigenous people and cultures. In reality, I am a visible minority - in a country where we are among the smallest of other minorities.
        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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        • #5
          Here in the public sector they now have that as a box to tick off when you get an application. Sad that it has come to another way of refusing a person as soon as the box is ticked as yes, even though there is a disclaimer stating otherwise!!! LOL what a farce! One guy here is Migmaw and was quiet about it, no one knew. He came to my desk where I work and was awed that I was so open! Now a few people realize that with him too and are not judging him or labeling him! Yayyyyy!
          Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

          It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

          Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
          Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.

          Comment


          • #6
            That would be hilarious if an application said that "Are you a visible minority?" I would be all "Hell yes and a d*mn goot looking one." ROFLMAO. Ha ha



            Mussy by birth.....Native by the Grace of God.......


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            • #7
              yeah....I was Indian before being Indian was cool. I couldn't say I wasn't if I wanted to.



              Mussy by birth.....Native by the Grace of God.......


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              • #8
                Originally posted by CandaePrincess View Post
                That would be hilarious if an application said that "Are you a visible minority?" I would be all "Hell yes and a d*mn goot looking one." ROFLMAO. Ha ha
                sigpicDisclaimer: Storyteller and I are friends no matter what our evil twins say on the rhyme thread


                Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, laying in hospitals, dying of nothing....

                If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

                Four things you can't recover:

                The stone........after the throw. The word........after it's said.

                The occasion...........after it's missed. The time.........after it's gone.

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                • #9
                  I wanted to add in the comments there on the application,, "If my skin were green would that be better?" LOL to think in this day and age that segregation was supposed to be a big NO NO!
                  Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

                  It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

                  Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
                  Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Okay let's get back on track. I will answer my own question.

                    Aside from being referred to by affiliation with my tribes, I prefer to be called Indian or American Indian (as opposed to East Indian or Red Indian)

                    My rational being American Indian is the legal language used in litigation between the 562 federally recognized tribes and the United States goverment.

                    It is also the same language used in the heading of major Native organizations such as:

                    National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
                    National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
                    Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
                    Indian Health Service (IHS)
                    National Indian Education Association (NIEA)
                    National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA)
                    etc.
                    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ditto! Every time I say "Native American", I have to force it out and it sounds stupid.

                      I do say "Native" and "NDN" and "skinz", like "Hey, look - skinz!" "Are you native?" "Yeah, I'm ndn" (pronounced indin)
                      ...it is what it is...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                        ...as opposed to East Indian or Red Indian...
                        I have an on-topic question. What do y'all think about the term "red indian?"

                        I hadn't heard that term since elementary school until I was in a meeting a few months ago. One of the other participants was from New Zealand. He used the term "red indian." Part of me wanted to quietly pull him aside and tell him that that was an inappropriate term in this country. I didn't, because I don't know if it is appropriate or not. It is certainly an archaic term, but is it offensive? To this white boy's ears, it sounds like it SHOULD be offensive. But, what do I know?
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wyo_rose View Post
                          ....

                          I do say "Native" and "NDN" and "skinz", like "Hey, look - skinz!" "Are you native?" "Yeah, I'm ndn" (pronounced indin)
                          YEP... me too.

                          but here at work there are some Indians from India and then there's us natives so i stick with Native cuz I'm not from India and it doesn't make sense... but i guess the answer changes depending on the location. haha
                          The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RDNKJ View Post
                            I have an on-topic question. What do y'all think about the term "red indian?"

                            I hadn't heard that term since elementary school until I was in a meeting a few months ago. One of the other participants was from New Zealand. He used the term "red indian." Part of me wanted to quietly pull him aside and tell him that that was an inappropriate term in this country. I didn't, because I don't know if it is appropriate or not. It is certainly an archaic term, but is it offensive? To this white boy's ears, it sounds like it SHOULD be offensive. But, what do I know?

                            RD,

                            I included the term "Red Indian" because it is the international term used to refer to the Indigenous people of North America.

                            Super,

                            I included the term "East Indian" because it is the term used in the United States to distinguish us from the Indians from India.
                            Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just say Indian, and if people ask what tribe I tell them. Some folks still don't understand that we're not just one big culture with a common language, surprisingly. Not too worried about being mistaken for being an India Indian - I don't wear saris, .

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