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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Cherokee Indians - their surnames

Under the law, and I do hope everyone here respects the law, the people recognized by the U.S. government are legally known as "Indians." Title 25 of the U.S. code refers to members of indigenous governments, regardless of their race, as Indians. Even non-Indians who have been adopted by federally recognized tribes are legally Indians. The U.S. Constitution mentions only one race by name and that race is Indian. The term "Native American" could refer to anyone born in the Americas, regardless of race. The use of the term Native American is as Euro-American concocted as the word Indian might be. Those PC types who worry about such things are usually not really Indians. But if I had my druthers, I would simply be called a Cherokee, because under Cherokee law, that is my nationality, regardless of my race, which is anthropologically speaking, Amerindian. However, for the sake of argument, the terms Native American and Indian are interchangeable and neither are offensive. Those of us who have always been Indian don't mind being called Indians. And we also don't mind when the PC police call us Native Americans.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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