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

Stephen W. Russell (
Sun, 4 Aug 1996 20:26:22 -0500

On 4 Aug 1996 wrote:

> Using the term "European" is somewhat like using the term
> "Indian" in that it ignores cultural differences.
You are absolutely right about that. However, I know a lot more Indians
who can tell Irish from Italian than I know Euros who can tell Comanche
from Cherokee.

(And let's not get started on language. When Cherokee actor Wes Studi
spoke Cherokee as if it was Inde' when he played Geronimo, he played it
straight. But in some of your old cowboy movies, you don't want to know
what those guys were really saying. Then there was the review of Black
Robe that said the only thing inauthentic was that the French spoke
English--not noting that three different Indian tribes spoke Cree!)

At least three people I can recall on the Indian side of this thread have
suggested that the most appropriate designation for the people who , in
the words of Paint Clan Cherokee humorist Will Rogers, "met the boat," is
a tribal designation. Context is everything, and I know better than to
call an Irishman English.

Steve Russell