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Native American or American Indian?

November 29, 2009
This is National Native American Month.  Celebrate by learning something from the original Americans.
Borgna Brunner asked:  “Are the terms American Indian and Native American essentially synonyms, in the same way that the terms black and African American are often used interchangeably? Or is using the term American Indian instead of Native American the equivalent of using Negro instead of black—offensive and anachronistic? Is the insistence on using Native American to the exclusion of all other terms a sign of being doctrinaire?
One Answer
“As the publisher and editor of The Navajo Times, the largest Native American–owned weekly newspaper, puts it, “I . . . would rather be known as, ‘Tom Arviso Jr., a member of the Navajo tribe,’ instead of ‘Arviso, a Native American or American Indian.’ This gives an authentic description of my heritage, rather than lumping me into a whole race of people.”

Please read the entire article by Borgna Brunner, American Indian versus Native American:  A once-heated issue has sorted itself out where she addresses Columbus, the Census, and stereotypes.
To find out the answer check out, http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aihmterms.html.

 I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

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