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You never gave a straight answer, yes or no are Mexicans native American Indians.

You never gave a straight answer, yes or no are Mexicans Native American Indians?

The American Continents of North and South were populated with indigenous people long before we were Alaska Native, First Nation, Mexican Indian or American Indian. This is my point.

Tribes and bands moved across the Canadian/ American/ Mexican/ Central/ and South American boarders at will before they became permanent residents of where they are today. I gave the example of how part of my tribe (Zuni) relocated to South America. Are they still considered Native American? By my hota’s (grandmothers) definition ‘yes’, they are still a part of our tribe. By the governments definition ‘no’ they are now a part of South America and are not eligible for either tribal or US citizenship.

It is a complicated issue in part because of our connection to the land. For example, my friend’s husband is from the Aztec tribe in Mexico, in lands now called the Yucatan Peninsula – a place his ancestors called home before Spanish conquest of modern day Mexico. He does not consider himself Hispanic, as he does not have any Spanish roots. Nor does he consider himself Latino because he does not consider himself as “a person of Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture.” When people ask him his ethnicity he tells them he’s from the Aztec or ‘Nahua’ people and identifies himself as an indigenous, Native American. I do the same saying I’m from the Zuni tribe, rather than saying I’m American Indian. This however is personal preference and everyone gets to decide how they want to identify themselves.

So to give you a straight answer, yes – Mexican tribes are Native to the Americas, but the governments of the US and Mexico define their citizenry according to their country of residence.

Hope this clears it up, or at least gets you thinking about the issue a little more.

Take care,

Auntie Manda

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