Natives Aff

The word “Indian” is good—it’s an appropriate term and a valid legal category

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The word “Indian” is good—it’s an appropriate term and a valid legal category

ALFRED 1999 (Taiaiake, Professor of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, Peace Power Righteousness An Indingous Manifesto)

Mohawks have been referred to as Rattlesnake People by the other tribes. But the rattlesnake is a very peaceful creature, raising its offspring on its own homeland; if its territory is large enough, it will run away. But if you persist, he warns you with his tail— please stay away! If you come closer he warns you more loudly, and finally if you give him no choice, then he will strike you. We are called rattlesnakes because we have that character. . . . Tom Porter speaks the truth eloquently as usual. Nonetheless, in this book references to 'Iroquois', the Six Nations, and the people of the Confederacy will use the Kanien'keha word 'Rotinohshonni', meaning 'people of the long house'. In broader discussions I will use various terms: 'Indian' (it should be noted that the area now known as 'India' was still called 'Hindustan' in the fifteenth century; the term 'Indian' as applied to indigenous Americans is derived from Columbus's original name for the Taino people he first encountered, 'una gente in Dios', or 'Indios', meaning 'a people in God'; 'Indian' is also a legal term, and in common use among indigenous people in North America); 'Native' (in reference to the racial and cultural distinctiveness of individuals, and to distinguish our communities from those of the mainstream society), 'American Indian' (in common use and a legal-political category in the United States), 'Aboriginal' (a legal category in Canada; also to emphasize the primacy of the peoples who first occupied the land), and 'indigenous' (in global contexts, and to emphasize natural, tribal, and traditional characteristics of various peoples). All are quite appropriate in context and are used extensively by Native people themselves?) -f 7 - Notes to the text, keyed to page numbers, can be found following p. 147.

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