Ok, In this politcally correct world we live in, it is no longer to ok to call people who were here before us “Indians” We must call them “Native Americans.” Why do we call them “Native Americans” if in fact they are not of American origin? They crossed over to America via the Bering Straight (yes, I realize that probably isn’t spelled correctly. And yes, the place we call the Bering Streight was not always a vast expanse of water). So if they crossed over from Asia, what should we call them? Pre-Asians? Really-Really Old Timers? Native American Asians? SOMEONE ANSWER ME!!!


I chose this forum because I think this is debatable material. ANSWER ME!!!

“American Aborigines.”

  • Rick

Good One. But people will eventually begin calling them aboriginies, which also referrs to The Australian Natives (How did they get there anyway). Then Politcally Corrective people will step in and I don’t want to think about what would happen then. (Nonaustralian Aboriginies?)

Actually most American Indians I’ve personally known have preferred to be called either American Indians. Either that or the name of their particular tribe. This includes some fairly militant activists ( witness AIM - the American Indian Movement ).

Personally I’ve always found the word “Amerindian” to be a nice, euphonic, inoffensive, and an unambiguous descriptor, though there may be some that disagree.

Regardless, just call people what they prefer. That’s the polite thing to do. If you say “American Indian” and someone corrects you and says “no, Native American”, shrug your shoulders and go along. Who cares? Getting worked up over something this trivial is just silly. There’s certainly no point in getting into a zero-sum argument over which term is more correct, because frankly they’re both flawed.

  • Tamerlane

Pre-Columbian Indigenous Americans.

The term “Amerindians” (Amer[ican] + Indian) mentioned by Tamerlane is usually used in scientific contexts. It prevents confusion with Asian Indians, while avoiding the political connotations of other terms.

Yo, Legolas:

1.) There’s no need to shout.

2.) It is helpful to use a thread title which actually pertains to the topic at hand. For example, “Is the term Native American preferable to American Indian?” or “Why should we use the term Native American when they came here from Asia?”

You’re probably right that this isn’t a General Question, but again, no need to shout, m’kay?

(Oh, FYI, by “shouting” I mean POSTING IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS.)

Legolas, shout one more time, and I may throw this into the BBQ Pit. The title was abrasive, and your manners so far seem to be non-existant.

Straighten up.

No, what would happen then is that people would return to using “American Aborigine” as distinguished from Australian Aborigine.

Your question has been answered. Why don’t you like the answer?

  • Rick

How 'bout we call 'em ‘Americans’, and everybody else ‘Post Anti-Americans’? Thieves? Invaders? (dare I say it?! I dare: Indian Givers!) However I do agree with Tamerlane that it is silly for so many people to get so worked up over a label. You’d think it was a UPC code branded to their forheads or something (I’m referring to Label Zealots, neither Original Inhabitants of America nor the Inhabitants of this corner of the net)

The correct term for Australian Aborigine is Australian Aboriginal. The AGPS Style Manual makes the point that because the noun aborigine can refer to any indigenous people, it is important to use Australian Aboriginal. Some Australian Aboriginals prefer to be called Koorie,Nunga, Yolngu, Anangu, Murri or Goorie. I use Australian Aboriginal and if someone wishes me to use another term, I do what I am asked.

In Canada, we use the term First Nations; we also use the term First Peoples, which includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

The First Nations even have a tv network.

The term I have a problem with is “Native Indian” (as in here) referring to American Aborigines. Shouldn’t a Native Indian be the same as a regular Indian from Asia?

I say, call them what they want to be called, it’s not for me to decide what someone else finds offensive. If they say it’s offensive - it’s offensive. Very simple.

With that said, I still cannot believe that in 2001 we have a football team called the “Redskins”.

At least one source, referenced in Henry Beard’s tongue-in-cheek Politically Correct Dictionary, prefers that the American Indians be called “First Americans.”

The reasoning being, sure, they’re not “native” in the sense that they didn’t evolve here, so it’s not quite accurate to call them “Native Americans” – but they did indeed get here first!

One really important thing that you’re forgetting is that traditional Native Americans do not believe that their ancestors crossed the Bering Straight to get here. They believe that they were placed here by The Great Mystery and that is how they came to exist here, so in their minds at least they are Native Americans. Read almost any Native American literature and you’ll understand the importance of place (location) to them.

Well, I’m only a sixteenth American Indian (you can tell by my impossibly straight dark dark hair, but you might be thrown off by my pale, white, Irish skin and freckles,) but my relatives and their friends prefer American Indian.

Sparkleegirl wrote:

Yeah, and a lot of English-speaking Americans believe that they are direct descendants of Adam and Eve, who were created out of the clay of the Earth in 4004 B.C…

That doesn’t mean they’re right.