What's in a Name?

In Glogpedia

by littlekb
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
American History
Grade:
8,9,10,11,12

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What's in a Name?

Myth: They like to be called "Native American" or "Indian".

What's in a name?

UNDRIP: Article 131. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

UNDRIP: Article 132. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretations or by other appropriate means.

What’s In a Name? Indian? Native American? American Indian?“In the end, the term you choose to use (as an Indian or non Indian) is your own personal choice. Very few Indians that I know care either way. The recommended method is to refer to a person by their tribe, if that information is known.The reason is that the Native peoples of North America are incredibly diverse. It would be like referring to both a Romanian and an Irishman as European. . . .Whenever possible, most would prefer to be called a Cherokee or a Lakota or whichever tribe they belong to. This shows respect because not only are you sensitive to the fact that the terms Indian, American Indian, and Native American are an over simplification of a diverse ethnicity, but you also show that you listened when they told you what tribe they belonged to.When you don’t know the specific tribe simply use the term which you are most comfortable using. The worst that can happen is that someone might correct you and open the door for a thoughtful debate on the subject of political correctness and its impact on ethnic identity. What matters in the long run is not which term is used but the intention with which it is used.”by Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee

I AM AN AMERICAN INDIAN, NOT A NATIVE AMERICAN!from Russell MeansI abhor the term Native American. It is a generic government term used to describe all the indigenous prisoners of the United States. These are the American Samoans, the Micronesians, the Aleutes, the original Hawaiians and the erroneously termed Eskimos, who are actually Upiks and Inupiats. And, of course, the American Indian.I prefer the term American Indian because I know its origins. The word Indian is an English bastardization of two Spanish words, En Dio, which correctly translated means in with God. As an added distinction the American Indian is the only ethnic group in the United States with the American before our ethnicity. At an international conference of Indians from the Americas held in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations in 1977 we unanimously decided we would go under the term American Indian. We were enslaved as American Indians, we were colonized as American Indians and we will gain our freedom as American Indians and then we will call ourselves any damn thing we choose. Finally, I will not allow a government, any government, to define who I am. Besides anyone born in the Western hemisphere is a Native American.

"These battles over mascots and Indian imagery underscore the power of naming in mainstream America, and Indians across the country are trying to reclaim that power."


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