American Indian, or Native American*?
This is among the most common points of confusion. Russell Means, who has family in Chinle, came up with this Answer. Russell has maintained a relationship with the American Indian Movement and has opinions on most everything which he is readily willing to share! There is a forum on his website.
A Quotable Quote:
"I prefer the term American Indian.... 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.
Russell Means, Ogalala Souix
NOTE: This is not an endorsement of Russell. Too many Dineh strongly say that he does not speak for them. It is however an opportunity on his pages to read a different opinion.
*Anyone born in America can claim to be a Native American, while only those individuals who have American Indian ancestors, or parents, can claim to be American Indians.
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