Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Indian vs. Native American

As we started reading and discussing Midnight's Children, I thought about the terms "Indians" and "Native Americans." I know I've always used Indian and Native American interchangeably when talking about the French and Indian War, for example. Columbus applied the name "Indian" mistakenly to the indigenous people he first encountered when he came to the New World. By giving these people the title of Native American, there was no confusion between the indigenous people of America and the indigenous people of India. So why do people still associate the term "Indian" with Native Americans and Indians from the Republican of India?

5 comments:

Sri Korrapati said...

Thank you

Antonio Imbornone said...

I find it interesting that we talked about the oppression imposed on the Muslims and Indians from Midnight's Children. This oppressive presence from the British Colonials effected both the "indians" in India and in North America during Britain's colonial growth in the Americas.

Cheyenne Dwyer said...

To somewhat answer your question, I believe that it's mostly because NatAmericans accepted the term "Indian" and used it to refer to themselves as well. That's what everyone referred to them as so they took it on for themselves and got attached to the name. Now, they mostly identify as Native American, but the term Indian was accepted as a name of beauty.

master123 said...

I blame being told in pre k-2nd grade to sit Indian style. I feel as if most of us were given this team for crossing our legs and donut is now ingrained partially into our minds. I do thank my third grade teacher though for denouncing that phrase and explaining the problem with it to my class, thanks Mrs. Armstrong. But to relate to the book a little bit...colonization really striped people of their identity, which is what I think Saleem is saying in his book and why he started off with a false identity because the British man in the novel, Methwold, his true father in a way let his childhood be a sort of sham

Jaclyn Murphy said...

It is interesting that you bring this up, too. I know that for as long as I remember the terms have always been interchangeable. I think the fact that early settlers like Columbus created that made it almost historic. Americans who descended from these indigenous americans, whether they do or don't have a problem with being called Indians, are never heard. I truthfully do not even know those peoples' stance on the issue! I'm sure it is rather offensive, but the people are somewhat silenced because there is really nothing to be done about it without public consensus opinion.