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Is there a difference between Native Americans vs. Indians?

What is different between a Native American and an Indian?

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Did you know that the term “Indians” that refers to the Native Americans was actually a mistake? Yes, you read that right. Christopher Columbus arrived in Central America on the year 1492 and mistakenly called the Native Americans as “Indians.” He probably mistook the place as part of Asia and assume that the native were Indians. Even thought the mistake was realized just a few moments after their interaction with the natives, the term already stuck with the Native Americans until now.

There are actually different types of Native Americans or the indigenous people of USA. They have the indigenous people from Alaska, Hawaii, and the popular Natives from Central America. The ones often referred to as “Indians” were the natives from Central America. Until now, Native Americans still call themselves as Indians because it has been already associated to them for centuries.

The scholars already promote the use of Native Americans as a correct term to use; however, there are also some issues behind this term. Native Americans can also be used to almost any Americans living in the USA. So, the term “Indigenous peoples of America” is promoted as the perfect term.

The older group still prefers to be called as Indians even though they know that it is a mistake to call them as such. The United States of America has coined the term “American Indians” as the official term to differentiate them from other natives in Alaska and Hawaii.

Up to now, the correct term is still not widely used and “Indians” is still the term that is popular in the English language. That is why academic scholars still debate as to how exactly these terms should be used. We probably won’t know what other terms these academic scholars may come up in the future, but we certainly know that this “mistake” of term has rooted in our language and probably will stay on forever.

You must not have gone to school. Everyone knows that "Indians" are from India not America.

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