Newt Love: Are We Native Americans?
Anyone born in Texas is a Native Texan. Anyone born in California is a Native Californian. Anyone born in the United States of America is a Native American.
"Native American" as it is applied to the people who were here before Europeans arrived is a term invented by academics. It is offensive to many Red Nations people. AMERIGO VESPUCCI (b. 1451) was the Italian navigator and cartographer who gave his name to two continents that sit between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
"Before Europeans arrived in North America, all the inhabitants were indigenous people who belonged to several thousand different tribes" American Indians in the 21st Century: Triumphant Survivors within a Genocidal Context (Section #1: Who is an Indian?)
How can any member of these several thousand indigenous nations of the northern "American" continent be "native" to a European-based place-name? We can't be!
We don't like what Amerigo Vespucci's renamed the continents. Ancient Lakhota used the name "Great Island." Recently "Turtle Island" has become popular. That name is taken from the common symbology in many of the Red Nations' stories regarding the great flood.
The Ojibway version is frequently quoted, where a great sea turtle offers to become the platform for the new earth after the great flood. A muskrat gave his life to get a small paw-full of earth from under the flood waters. When it was placed on the turtle's back, it grew to become the great island we live on. If we are "Native" anything, we are "Native Turtle Islanders"
Talking about the "Native American opinion" is as valid as talking about the "Asian opinion." Nobody would dare lump the people of China, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, (N/S) Korea, et cetera into an "Asian" category and attempt to state what the "Asian" opinion is on any subject.
So, how can anyone state that they know the "Native American" opinion when there are thousands of separate indigenous nations on Turtle Island? Some of our nations are divided by the US/Canadian border, but those people are not divided. Surveys indicate that the term Red Nations is preferred over the academic term "indigenous peoples" or "Native Americans."
While Lakhota, Nakhota, and Dakhota have a lot in common, we are probably more like the Scots than the Navajo, at least as far as I can tell. We sure intermarried enough!
Every survey of the Red Nations that I have read has shown an overwhelming preference for the word "Indian" to other monikers. Many of American Indians have adopted the spelling of "nDn" to distinguish them from "Indian" which refers to the inhabitants of a subcontinent in southern Asia called "India."
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