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How to call aboriginal autochthonous first indigenous native peoples?
Posted: Posted December 30th, 2019
Edited February 25th by chiarizio
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I can’t make this a poll, because the software for entering a poll is so unforgiving; unless everything’s perfect on the first attempt there is no way to correct it.
So:
What would you prefer to call them?
And why?
And do you have a second or third choice?
And is there one term, or are there two or three terms, you find totally intolerable?

In alphabetical order, the terms I’ve thought of, are:
  • aborigines, or, aboriginal people
  • autochthons, or, autochthonous people
  • first people, or First Nations
  • indigenes, or, indigenous peoples.
  • natives, or, native peoples.

    I have the distinct feeling that there are at least five, maybe six, terms I should have thought of. Maybe more than that. So if you can think of any others, please say so.

    ———

    I am about 3/32 (less than 10%) “Native American” by blood. Since all three tribes are Eastern tribes, by their rules I have “enough blood” to join their tribes. (Western tribes usually require 25% blood. Some of those with more valuable tribal property require 50%.)

    I don’t like the USAnian term “Native American”. I figure every natural-born American citizen is a Native American. But I can tolerate any of these terms.

    My favorite term is the Canadian term “First Nations” or “First Peoples”.

    Some people find “Aborigine” offensive; I can’t see why. It means your family or race or tribe or nation, originated in this place, or was here at the beginning.

    “Autochthonous” means you’re on your own land. “Auto” = “own”; “chthon” = “land” or “earth”. I can’t see how that would be offensive to someone to whom it was applied. Someone else might though; “my greatgrandpappy bought this land a hunnert years ago and it’s MY OWN LAND consarn it!”

    I’m not sure whether “indigene” is closer to synonymous with “native” or with “aboriginal”. But in the USA when journalists want to talk about Native Americans and Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders as a group of ethnicities within natural-born American citizens, they tend to use the phrase “Indigenous Peoples”.


  • chiarizio
    There are 10 Replies

    "Indigenous" has always made the most sense -- it doesn't have the weird history behind it like every other term.

    aborigines, or, aboriginal people


    This seems to only be applied to indigenous people in british colonies, especially australia.

    autochthons, or, autochthonous people


    That's one I haven't heard before outside of biological contexts. It's got weird greek mythical overtones.

    first people, or First Nations


    That probably isn't technically correct. There was a lot of migration that happened pre-colonization. A great example of this were the southeastern cherokee who actually came from the great lakes originally.

    natives, or, native peoples.


    This has american indian connotations.

    Basically "indigenous" is the only word which makes sense in context and doesn't have some other history behind it. I guess "autochthons" would work too, but that word isn't heavily used in archaeological contexts like indigenous is.

    I am about 3/32 (less than 10%) “Native American” by blood


    I have somewhere around 1/4th-1/8th from several lines. Very obvious in old family photos, less obvious in living relatives (although my uncle got a bunch of those genes)

    Edited December 30th, 2019 by Xhin
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    Xhin
     

    Three of my mother’s mother’s parent’s grandmothers were “Native American”.
    Can’t remember which of my mother’s mother’s parents was 25% and which was 50%.
    At any rate the three tribes were Cherokee and Choctaw and Creek.

    In modern times some tribes enforce a “blood quantum”. Some Native Americans think the “blood quantum” is racist — racism practiced against Native Americans by other Native Americans.

    The notion of “blood quantum” enforced can vary.

    The national “blood quantum” for Cherokees is; any at all.

    In Oklahoma, when my mother was living there, there was a “blood quantum” rule that, to be counted as a Cherokee in Oklahoma, you needed to be at least 1/16 Cherokee.
    My daughter is between 1/4 and 1/2 Dakota.
    That makes me the non-Native-American son of a Native American mother and the non-Native-American father of a Native-American daughter.
    I find that laughable, ludicrous, ridiculous!
    But my Native American friends, regardless of whether or not they think I should count as a Native American, are very wounded by the idea that I think the “blood quantum” question is funny; for them it’s deadly serious.

    The Alabama-Coushatta tribe in the Big Bend of the Rio Grande in Texas, has an interesting blood-quantum rule;
    You have to be at least 50% Native American, but you only have to be at least 25% Alabama-Coushatta.



    Posted December 31st, 2019 by chiarizio
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    BTW during the first Obama campaign I was asked on a radio poll whether I was for or against or neutral on the question of having a Muslim President (even though we all knew that Obama was and is Catholic).
    My response was that I want a Native American president.
    I still do.

    There may be more important issues.
    I want the majorities in the Senate and HR and Cabinet and SCotUS to be scientists.
    I want the majority in the Senate and everyone in the line of succession to be Atheists. Or at least not literal believers in any religious scripture’s notion of the end of the world.

    But I’m going to choose the best available, rather than stubbornly hold out for someone who’ll give me everything I want.
    So maybe one day during my lifetime I’ll get one of my wishes. I doubt I’ll ever get two of them; certainly not at the same time.


    Posted December 31st, 2019 by chiarizio
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    If you have a loose definition of the blood quantum rule, you could try to get elizabeth warren elected -- she seems to have a decent shot at it.

    I want the majorities in the Senate and HR and Cabinet and SCotUS to be scientists.


    That's a worthy goal.

    I want the majority in the Senate and everyone in the line of succession to be Atheists. Or at least not literal believers in any religious scripture’s notion of the end of the world.


    I don't think that'll ever happen in america. This is the country that all the persecuted religious nuts emigrated to.



    Posted December 31st, 2019 by Xhin
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    At any rate the three tribes were Cherokee and Choctaw and Creek.


    I think that's true for me too, except I have a lot more cherokee than anything else, and I also have iriquois on my mother's side.

    That makes me the non-Native-American son of a Native American mother and the non-Native-American father of a Native-American daughter.


    That's hilarious!

    I think cultural definitions make more sense than blood quantums. Like I might have a lot of that heritage but claiming myself as a native american doesn't make any sense because I'm not a part of that culture. But then someone who's right under the blood quantum but is steeped in that culture should be able to claim it.

    Posted December 31st, 2019 by Xhin
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    Lots of tribes augment their blood-quantum rule; like you have to be sponsored by the (or a) parent or grandparent (or, I suppose, auncle or older full- or half- -sibling) who is already a member; or have to have “maintained continuous contact” or some such phrase with the tribe’s culture for at least some specified minimum length of time. I suppose a grand-auncle might also do for a sponsor. I’d bet those tribes have a looser blood-quantum requirement, on average, than similar other tribes that have no cultural nor contact requirements but instead rely solely on the blood-quantum.

    Historically, before the infamous Dawes commission, tribes had adoption traditions, where members could adopt non-members into the tribe. I don’t see why they couldn’t still have that right. Historically, before the Westward expansion of white civilization, it was usually applied to other Native Americans from other tribes; but from the very beginning of European colonization, it was also applied to Europeans and Africans, and probably also Eurasians. If there’s a problem now it’s probably with the Department of the Interior and/or the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    My ex-wife — my daughter’s adoptive mother— was a lawyer, and had paperwork on her computer when she died, about getting my daughter into (or back into) the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakotas (probably the Grand Traverse Band here in Michigan, rather than the seven-county three-city group out in the states named “Dakota” that her birth-mother moved from at the age of 18). But that all got dropped when she(my ex) died, and her (my daughter’s) state-appointed guardians have consistently said other things are higher priority. I think it would be easy if they’d just go ahead and do it. But my opinions don’t count anymore. Anyway I agree those other things are higher priority; I just don’t see why that means they HAVE to delay on this!

    Interesting you mentioned Warren. I’m actually leaning her way anyway! This is an additional reason, in case “reason” turns out to have anything to do with anything.

    I believe there’s cause to consider Edith Wilson* USA’s first Native American Acting President.

    *Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, the second wife of President Thomas Woodrow Wilson. He was her second husband. She was his second wife. His first wife, the mother of his daughters, died while they were in the White House; his oldest daughter took over as White House Hostess (“Acting First Lady”) until the widow Galt married him and came to live in the White House with him and his daughters.

    Edited February 25th by chiarizio
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    @Xhin:
    I don't think that'll ever happen in america. This is the country that all the persecuted religious nuts emigrated to.

    Do you think we could at least arrange that nobody in the line of succession literally believes in any scripture’s predictions about the end of the world?

    Edited February 13th by chiarizio
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    Cant speak for anywhere else but here in Guatemalan they are Mayans.

    Posted January 20th by S.O.H.
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    @S.O.H.:
    Have you and your Mayan intended become groom and bride yet?
    Please post a few pictures when it happens!

    ———

    When you return from a Guatemala, do you plan to live in Mexico for a while, or the United States?
    For that matter, when (+- a year or a season, or maybe a month) do you expect your tour-of-duty in Guatemala to be up?


    Posted February 25th by chiarizio
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    @S.O.H.:
    Have you and your Mayan intended become groom and bride yet?
    Please post a few pictures when it happens!

    Well I have to find her first. But I will let you know.

    ———

    When you return from a Guatemala, do you plan to live in Mexico for a while, or the United States?

    Well isn't that the question of the day. I really do not know. I lived in California for 25 years I dont think I can afford to move back. I am considering Texas or somewhere on the East Coast. Who knows where I will end up.


    For that matter, when (+- a year or a season, or maybe a month) do you expect your tour-of-duty in Guatemala to be up?

    My tentative close of service/ end of service date is November 20th of 2021...Depending on how my life goes I might extend my service an additional year.

    I like being here. If I happen to meet someone I will be staying indefinitely.



    Posted February 27th by S.O.H.
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