ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

Why do they call us Indian?

I like this question a lot. It’s not a question about how we got our name, everyone knows the failed discovery of Columbus. But the Why, to me that’s the most important question to ask. Knowing their why can help strengthen who you are.

I want to preface this by saying if you choose to call yourself Indian. That’s okay! You set the pace for how you want to be identified. Taking ownership of a name and reclaiming it as a beacon of strength. The conversation of what to call us is never an easy one, as we have over 574 federally recognized tribes.

These are some of the reasons I’ve stumbled across in my years.

  • Some People call us Indian because of their Ignorance.
  • Some People call us Indian because they don’t know what to call us and some people have to call us something.
  • Some People call us Indian because their malice and maliciousness.
  • Some People call us Indian because their underlying goal of trying to strip us of our identity.
  • Some People call us Indian because our claim to this land has been overwritten due to their manifest destiny.
  • Some People call us Indian because that’s what they were told to call us.
  • Some People call us Indian because Native Americans are extinct.
  • Some People call us Indian to dehumanize us.
  • Some People call us Indian to romanticize us and push our existence to that of spaghetti westerns and romance novels.
  • Some People call us Indian because colonizers created the name, and wrote it down.
  • Some People call us Indian to complete their work of killing the Indian to save the man.

Oh so many more reasons!

Remember it’s not what they call you, but what you answer to. Who are you? Where do you come from? Own it! Take pride in it, share it. Be happy that no matter what they call you, you are strong, you have an identity, a culture and are unapologetically indigenous!

Uncle Paige

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