? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

Why do Americans ignorantly use the term "Indians" for the Native Americans?

That word is for South Asians, for people in India, NOT for the Native Americans. Seriously, whose idea was it to call the Natives "Indians"? Pretty offensive idea. It spits on the face of the REAL Indians - those in South Asia.

If I were an Indian, I'd be extremely offended if people used my nationality name for some natives in America.

Let's might as well call America North Mexico, eh? Now how do you like that, huh?

Update:

The term Amerindian is fine. Why not use that?

13 Answers

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  • Greg
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The native Americans have been called Indians since the days of Christopher Columbus. Columbus' main reason for sailing around the world was to get to India. When he landed on the west coast of America, he thought he was in India, so he called the natives Indians. We've been calling them that ever since, simply because it's more catchy and a lot easier to say than Native American.

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  • John P
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Blame it on Christopher Columbus, the first European who seriously discovered 'America'. He thought he had come across 'The Indies' (i.e. part of Asia) in his search for the back way to China and The Indies. Somehow the name stuck, as also the Caribbean islands are called The West Indies.

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  • Tim D
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Because they had inherited the term, the earliest expeditions to the New World were to find an alternative route to the Indies, the reason the Spanish crown financed the expedition was based on Columbus’s theories of the easier route.

    India is only one name out of twenty for that nation by far the majority render the name Bhārat.

    Why would it be offensive?

    America is the name of a continent, also divided into North, Central and South America.

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  • 10 years ago

    hahhahaah very good point!! It all goes back to 1492 when columbus "discovered" America. He believed he had landed in India so he called the Native Americans "Indians". NOTE: Christopher Columbus did NOT discover America, he landed on this Country which was already occupied by Natives, Killed them and took over...

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  • 10 years ago

    Because when Columbus discovered America he thought he was in India, and the name stuck for the natives.

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  • 10 years ago

    Summing it all up, Columbus was supposed to find a faster trading route to India, so when he arrived to shore he thought he was in India. That's why it's called the West Indies. Anyway the name has stuck ever since

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    When are you non-NDN people going to decide what you want to call us? For the last 500 yrs, we have been Indians. Then about 35-40 yrs. ago, some body decided we are native Americans, but just like Sarah told you, all the treaties and official govt language still calls us Indians. We know who we are. We always have known. If you want to be PC, you should call us by our tribal names.

    Source(s): Calif Indian
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  • Sarah
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Take it up with your government. Every treaty, every legal documentation regarding us, every act passed by congress regarding us, every sign saying you are entering a reservation says the same thing- Indian.

    To deny us of being American Indians is to disregard everything we have endured as well as all progress we have made in retaining our rights. Unless, of course, you can convince congress to re-write everything pertaining to us since the Europeans showed up and change Indian to Native American.

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  • 10 years ago

    I use the term "Injuns" in tradition of the typical ignorant American slack-jawed yokel pioneers & cowboys of yesteryear. But only in jest. I have books & books of them Native Americans on me shelves.

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  • 10 years ago

    Because the British called them that when Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. So it stuck.

    As for North Mexico, i speak for behalf of ALL Americans, and i quote "WE DONT GIVE A ****" unquote.

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