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Polar Husky A to Z

 

INDIAN

 

Christopher Columbus sailed west in 1492 from Europe looking for a quick route to the Orient and the many trade opportunities there. When he first encountered land, he thought he had actually sailed all the way to India. In fact, Columbus never even saw North America.

Almost all inuit live in animal skin tents in the summer, and most dwell in sod houses in the winter. The Canadian inuit live in igloos for months at a time, with only soapstone lamps for warmth.

The term Indian is simply an incorrect name given by Columbus to the indigenous people of the Bahamas.

In the past Native people have been collectively grouped together, identified simply as "First nations" in Canada or as "Native Americans" in the United States. In reality, Native people are comprised of many distinct cultures, each with its own traditions, values and languages. Therefore, most Native people prefer to be identified as part of a particular culture.

The Ojibway call themselves "Anishinaube" and the Cherokee call themselves "Aniyunwia."

The name that many Native groups use for themselves in their own languages translates as something like "the people" or "the first people".

Most Native American and First Nation groups refer to themselves, and to others among them as "Indians". They understand that the term "Indian" actually refers a mistake made by Columbus. In the book They Taught You Wrong, Kathy Kerner states, "We feel that, while the term "Native American" is positive, it is more important that non-Indians adopt a spirit of respectful interest and inquiry than that a "politically correct" term be used automatically, accompanied by the feeling that one has then done enough."

Many professional sports teams (Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves) and businesses (tires, butter and automobiles) continue to use stereotypical images of Native Americans as their mascots or in their logos. Native people continue to fight this practice today and have succeeded in the removal of most "Indian" mascots from high schools around the U.S. There are many arguments on all sides of this controversial issue.

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