Re: Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation

Mary Beth Williams (
31 Jul 1996 10:37:03 GMT

In <smryan-3007962146280001@> (!@?*$%)
>> Your remark on the term N.A. makes one wonder how sensitive you
>> are to minority issues, however, it is a valid concern for many
>> non-Indians.
>Out of curiosity, what are your feeling on the Goidelic Tribe, often
>referred to as Micks? Or how they were ravaged by imported diseases
>bubonic plague or cholera? (Those Indians have a lot to answer for:
>obviously they're totallly to blame for the loss of Irish
>Their situation is very different, of course, they were merely invaded
>Angles and Saxons, and later AngloSaxons, their religion suppressed,
>robbed of their hunting (and farming) grounds, murderred, nearly in
>slavery, etc.
>While much of the Goidelic Tribe has only been on this continent for a
>century, many of their members were born here. So how many generations
>does it take to become a native?

I think that you do a disservice to both the Irish and Native Americans
by attempting to lump their experiences together. This thread,
however, is about an appropriate non-offensive term for the indigenous
people of the Western Hemisphere.

Being a *native* is not about the place of one's birth, but of whose
womb one descends from (with the exception of legitimate adoption by
*natives*.) It takes only one generation for a non-native to produce a
native -- but first one needs to find a native mate.

As long as there are legitimate indigenous (native) peoples in a
region, invaders/immigrants will never ascend to that position -- it
only can occur when the original group becomes *extinct*... Hence, the
motivation behind the *policy of extermination* which has dominated
white relations with American Indians since 1639.

MB Williams (Penobscot/Kennebec/Maliseet)
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst