Talk:Indigenous peoples of the Americas/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Systemic bias in the title.

They are not "indigenous" any more than any other New World population, as all humans are Old World. The fossil record attests to this; archaeology doesn't lie. All New Worlders, of any race or origin, are Old World transplants. This is widely known and taught in even basic, grade school education. The title is very POV slanted in favor of a revanchism. I have met Indians and Mestizos who think all Atlantic colonists to the New World have no place here, simply because their own Pacific ancestors had arrived earlier. It is a major part of La Raza propaganda. Mexican nationalists tend to call Americans; "gringo Europeans" that must "go back where they come from". Please do us all a favor and change the title; it may help to defuse that nonsense. The only indigenous populations are in the Old World. The people who founded Easter Island were no more native than the colony of Santo Domingo on Hispaniola. Rhode Islander 00:35, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The word "indigenous" need not be absolute, it can be relative. In this case it is about the people indigenous to the Americas, relative to the huge migration of new people post 1492. It seems to me useful to use a term that indicates the difference between the people who came to the Americas many thousands of years ago and those who came in the last few hundred. What different word would you use to illustrate this difference in the time of migration to America? Pfly 02:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
That is why the word "indigenous" in this article can be understood by the United Nations definition of Indigenous peoples - this definitions is independent of the notion of "place of origin" that is implicit in the everyday understanding of the word indigenous - but which is completely unhelpful since no humam population live in its original homeland - all peoples have migrational histories or we would live only in southern africa. Saying that the only indigenous people are form the old world is equally ignorant as saying believeing that the precolumbian peoples of the americas have been thee forever. the fact is that most people in the world do understand what is meant by indigenous peoples and realise that most old world people do not fall under that dfinitions. Your accusations of revanchism are absurd - this is simply the way the word is being used every where - to change that would be creating a neologimMaunus 08:46, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Pfly has a point, but Maunus does not. Pre-Columbian civilizations would be most NPOV, but only if it includes the Leif Ericson crowd. The Greenlandic settlements into the New World should be accounted for in this article, to avoid the Pacificism inherent in these studies. While it is true that the Columbian settlements (except New England, thought of as a home in the same sense as Vinland) were thought of as colonies, the Greenlanders considered Vinland a part of their sub-Arctic Scandinavian homelands that stretch from the Baltic to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. They did not know it was not Europe. To exclude them from the Pre-Columbian history would then be racist, biased in favor of the Pacific colonists who also did not know of the difference between Old and New Worlds. Or, we could have two separate articles, sans any reference to "who was there first". For instance: the Pacific History of the Americas and Atlantic History of the Americas would be a good way to divide it up, without possible favor to one or the other outlook--time being the only obvious demarcation. To separate them would be advantageous to understanding the qualities of both, for the two modes of movement are equally important. There is no reason to balkanize it though, such as in separating articles for the Amerindians, Easter Islanders and the Chinese or Filipinos, or the Vikings and the French, Spaniards or West Africans. The only way to handle separate Pacific or Atlantic migrations, would be making subarticles beneath the two oceanic models. It might be difficult to isolate European and African movements to the New World, but even more so in the discussion of Australoid entrance to the New World vis a vis the regular Mongoloid one. So, there are two basic and broad histories: Pacific and Atlantic--neither is particularly indigenous from even a pre-Columbian perspective. People conveniently use exclusionary bias on the Norse issue. Greenland and Vinland are both ancient Atlantic homes in the New World; they even named what is now Nunavut Helluland and Labrador Markland. It was their subset of the European world. There was a consciousness shift in the time of Columbus, when they looked for India. Perspectives were more enlightened than previous Old World migrations to the Americas. We must cut through prejudice and uninformed perspectives, like a knife. That is what academia is responsible for. The Vikings did not discover a New World to them, any more than the Ice Age Siberians crossing the Bering Strait. Only later populations considered a difference; including both Pacific and Atlantic countries. It is then of no advantage to NPOV to describe the pre-Columbian Pacific heritage to be some noble savages who have been violated. What of the loss to the family of Leif Ericson? These are all in a pre-Columbian, pre-colonial mind. It is not advantageous to look at it from the pre-/post- Columbus view, even though it should neutralize the "who was here first" thing. More efficient organization is through East/West. Rhode Islander 16:54, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The Norse colonies could be included, I think; perhaps somewhere around the mention of the Eskimo / Inuit, with whom the Norse came into conflict. Interestingly, the Eskimo page mentions their semi-circumpolar population distribution, similar to the Norse expansion back in the day. If I have it right, the Norse reached southern Greenland before the Eskimo/Inuit. One could argue that the Norse settlements died out in pre-Columbian times, while the Eskimo and Inuit are still around. Then again, one could argue the Norse occupation of Greenland merely had a gap between the earlier settlements and the modern ones today. In any case, I'd say sure, put something into the article about the Norse. Pfly 17:24, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Pfly's first point. In practice, when people say "indigenous peoples", they mean "relatively indigenous", i.e. more indigenous to a particular place than the others in question. So, it is technically true that I am indigenous to North America, this is a trivial observation because there are others whose ancestors have lived here a lot longer than I have.
The history of Norse settlements in the New World is quite marginal to the history of the North America (it barely existed at all outside of Greenland), and hardly seems to merit more than a passing remark. In addition, the Norse population was a lot more recent than the other groups who are usually described as "indigenous", all of whom had been there for multiple thousands of years; and the Norse-Americans no longer exist and haven't for hundreds years, unlike various Indian groups, so they can only be discussed historically, rather than as an existing indigenous group. All in all, it doesn't seem worth worrying about much.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 22:06, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

This and related articles tend to identify present Pacific-origin populations as a continuation of those previous, with excessive historical content vs contemporary conditions. Rhode Islander 22:44, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Are they not a continuation of those previous?—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 01:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I think this is an excellent discussion and that good points have been made by everyone above. In reading the discussion, I agree that the article as titled runs a risk of being misleading. Rhode Islander suggested the title Pre-Columbian, but I think there are too problems with that. The first is what to do about the Norse settlements. The second is that it doesn't seem right to use label these peoples with the name of someone from another group of people. I have a suggestion to consider:
I suggest the page be re-titled to "Early peoples of the Americas". Advantages:
"Early" is a simpler word than "Indigenous" - it is more likely that people know what the word "Early" means
"Early" is a less ambiguous word than "Indigenous" - Early is not likely to be mistaken for "original" in the same way that Indigenous is.
"Early" implies that there was another group(s) of people who came later
I look forward to other thoughts on this proposal. Johntex\talk 07:42, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

My feeling is that there is no ideal name for this topic, and indigenous is as good and bad as any. I can see the logic in using "early", but I can't think of examples of it being used anywhere else, and shouldn't wikipedia reflect actual usage of terms, at least to some degree? My instinct is to prefer terms like "Indian" or "Native American", as they are so commonly used -- but then I live in the United States and I realize these terms are not so common elsewhere in the Americas, even Canada. If I understand it right, the name of this page and others on the topic have already been changed several times. I fear there is simply no term out there that will not result in the same kind of complaints that indigenous does. It doesn't really matter to me what the page is titled, but I think energy would be better spent on content, rather than titles, in general.

As for early contact by non "Indians" in the Americas, regardless of what this page is titled, the content can refer to things like the Norse and less conclusive theories like the Welsh and Chinese contacts, and link to existing pages on those topics, like Norse colonization of the Americas, Vinland, 1421 hypothesis, Madoc, Western Settlement, etc etc. Pfly 08:52, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

The point of view that people who came to the Americas from Siberia are somehow not native is extremely biased, and is apparently being used by pro-imperialists to justify the colonial conquests of the Americas by various European countries(England, France, Spain, Portugal, etc). The fact is, the first people to arrive in any given land are by definition indigenous to it, just as English people are native to England and French people are native to France even though they must have migrated there from Africa at some point, Native Amweican people are native to the Americas even though they migrated there from Africa through Asia. Native people have lived there for over 15,000 years, and were as much a part of the natural ecosystem as any other animal (yes, all humans are animals) that migrated from Asia before European colonisation (and still are, to some extent), and so clearly have a claim to being the rightful heirs of their ancestral homelands. This sort of opinion is pejorative and dismissive, and is basically designed to deny Native people their rights. (I am Native, by the way, so I get especially peeved when people who apparently have political agendas say that we natives have to right to our own homeland, as it quite frankly comes off as haughty, insensitive, and ethnocentric towards European or western values of pro-imperialism and colonialism)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 30 March 2007.

There's already an article catering for 'early contact by non "Indians" in the Americas', both real and mythical - pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.
"Early peoples" hardly, if ever, appears in the sources and references as a specific term, and so adopting it would IMO be neologistic.
"Indigenous peoples" on the other hand, is a very well-established term used by a myriad of references, and so it is an appropriate choice, even though some folks may not be aware of it, or are more used to some other expression, or can confuse it with the common adjectival meaning (which does not equate to the same thing).--cjllw | TALK 08:56, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Remember Genealogical DNA tests and Kennewick Man. The first lets us prove that Indian Americans are not indigenous, as they came from somewhere else (East Asia). The second gives us insight into who else was here around that time, possibly before them. --Mister Magotchi 06:13, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

No, not at all. Neither of those two "prove" Native Americans are not indigenous. The first attempted point completely misunderstands what the term indigenous peoples means- read the article. It's plainly silly to maintain indigeneity of a population depends on it having remained in some particular location (or even continent) as far back as anyone can trace. All the more so given the prevailing model of recent single origins of all human populations (RSOH) 'out-of-Africa'. That's simply not how the term indigenous is used in this context. As for the second, even if Kennewick Man were to be conclusively proven as evidence that there was a human population in the Americas before them (and the specimen is not in fact taken as such by a majority of paleontologists), then it would still not prevent or invalidate contemporary Native American populations from being considered as indigenous ones. Which, quite obviously and per copious sources and references, they are considered to be.--cjllw ʘ TALK 07:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Indigenous Americans live around the world!

True...Let's get any serious research on the native American "lost tribes". Ever since the early 1600's, it started by Pocahontas married to John Rolfe, an English settler decidedly returned to England with her and she was baptized Rachael Rolfe, then gave birth to her only child, John Rolfe Jr. the first known Native American born on the European continent. When Ms. Rolfe (Pocahontas) returned to her home land, John Rolfe jr. started farm plantations in Virginia ever since, but his mother caught a fatal illness on her way back to her husband in England.

It's alledged the trans-Atlantic slave trade under Europeans in the 1500's to the late 1700's included a few other races not limited to black Africans. Tens of thousands of indigenous Americans traded from one area of the world to another, but slavery failed to materialize and grow in practice in western Europe and the southern cone of South America. The majority of native American slaves or invited to residence from the 16th to 19th centuries, in Spain, France and the UK might intermarried Europeans and assimilated to a point they lost their native American identity in time.

But,in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Cherokee "diaspora" started with the Trail of Tears tragedy in the Eastern US into their reservation, Indian territory in present-day Oklahoma, might have thousands of skilled farm workers and business-savvy shopowners migrate out of North America for parts of Central & South America, and due to the Cherokees' acclaimed "westernized" cultural identity, the Cherokees are mistaken for being white Americans when in fact they had mostly indigenous ancestry.

In the two world wars that followed, thousands of native Americans in US, Canadian and Mexican army uniforms, although in small numbers, married some European and Asian women ("war brides") and some might stayed in Europe (England, Germany, Italy and Russia), and Japan, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines & Vietnam (part-time or ever since)...and the discoveries of possible native American descendants in Europe and east Asia fathered by servicemen of indigenous ancestry, are reported and documented.

Today, a small portion of indigenous Americans by race or tribal membership live in other continents. I recalled a global demographic study in 2001 analyzed the percentage of indigenous American genes' distribution into Europe and other continents may be well under 5 percent, but this is a major finding of not only whites, Africans and Amerindians merged in the new world...some of their genes by those native Americans whom lived in Europe, their small bits of DNA entered the European gene pools in five centuries.

The cultural phenomena of "who's part-Cherokee" or "a distant great-grand-relative was [American] Indian" since the 1970's or 80's wasn't limited to the US or Canada, the Cherokee Nation in the 1990's handled an unproven, but possible claim of over 100,000 Cherokee descendants in Latin America (there are 50 other tribes, the Choctans and Muskogeans in former Indian territory known to crossed borders to Canada, Mexico, Cuba and wherever they found safe refuge, like the Lakota in Manitoba, Canada and Kickapoo in the Rio Grande valley in Coahuila, Mexico). 07:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Population edits this article and Arawak February 7, 2007

An anonymous IP is boosting the population numbers significantly here and on Arawak. The edits there and here have been reversed. Other editors should be aware of the changes. Ronbo76 22:59, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Reference number six broken

I do not have time to fix this link. Please monitor it over the next day or so. If it remains broken, another citation or the broken link reference may be needed. Ronbo76 23:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


While I do believe that many Mexicans are indeed of a Mixed Racial descent, I do not believe it is sixty percent, and I certainly don't believe that 30 percent of the population is Indian. I make this judgement from being American and being of Mixed Racial heritage, and to be honest, I honestly believe there are more Americans with Mixed blood than Mexicans. I would like to give you an example of why I think Many Mexicans embelish their heritage. My grandfather, is full-blooded White, his Grandmother was from Spain. He is dark and has Black Hair, with the exception of the Blue eyes(which he obtained from the opposite side of the family)he could tell you he was Mestizo and you would believe him. I honestly believe that even if alot of Mexicans are Mixed with Indian and European, that they wouldn't know it unless their government hadn't taught them to hate their European Heritage. Before you judge, I am not Mexican, I have many relatives that are. Not a single one of them has a drop of Indian blood-and I do. So if you can't prove your heritage, don't make that claim. 22:43, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

The average Joe might not know where he/she came from. The educated Joaquin does. Disagree. I can tell you perfectly my lineage (not here of course) and it aint Ango-Saxon. Ronbo76 22:47, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

February 22, 2007 edit

This edit deleted a large set of "See also"s that listed various cultures/indigenous peoples. I believe it should be re-inserted. Ronbo76 22:39, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

  • In Brazil the indigenous populations pure (live in indigenous reserves) are approximately between 700,000-1,000,00 (IBGE).-- 23:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


Btw, Native Americans also wear suits, drive cars, pilot airplanes, are teachers, politicians, singers, etc. They should not be exclusively depicted half-naked or in costumes. SamEV 19:50, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Very true.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Although I don't have a problem with all pictures of half-naked Native Americans [1] ...
Anyway, I'd add pictures if I knew how; my impression is that it's a real hassle.
SamEV 04:32, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that it's normal, in an article about an ethnic group, that the reader will want to see pictures of that people wearing their traditional folk clothing. That's not a bad thing. In this particular article, I agree that it could be informative to also include pictures of indigenous people wearing normal modern clothes. Now, to find some suitable images ...—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 06:25, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

unsupported my butt

the land bridge lie is offensive to many natives, so how is that unsupported?Charred Feathers 03:46, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

"The BERING STRAIT DOCTRINE insists that all indigenous American peoples came across a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, filtering down through Central America into South America. Problem: numerous archaeological sites in the Americas predate any possible Bering Strait migration by many thousands of years. Access from Alaska to the rest of North America was blocked for millennia by two great ice sheets that covered Canada. An narrow opening that might have allowed passage appeared much too late (about 13,500 years ago) to explain the growing evidence that people were living in both North and South America much earlier than these "first" migrations.

By 1997-98, the tide of opinion began to turn: several scientific conclaves declared that a majority of attending scholars rejected the Bering Strait theory as a full explanation of how the Americas were peopled.The long-doctrinal hypothesis of Clovis hunters as the first immigrants is crumbling before the new dating, as hundreds of pre-Clovis sites pile up: Cactus Hill, Virginia (13,500 BP); Meadowcroft Rock Shelter in Pennsylvania (14,000 - 17,000 Before Present); Monte Verde (12,500 BP); Pedra-Furada, Brazil (15,000 BP, and possibly as old as 32,000 BP).

Bering Strait diehards discount the oral histories of indigenous Americans, such as Hopi accounts of migrations across "stepping-stones" in the Pacific. In spite of the huge diversity among the American peoples and differences between most Americans and east Asians, all are declared to be of "Mongoloid racial origin." After the initial press stampede declaring "Kennewick Man" to be "white," study of the genetic evidence shows something entirely different. Instead, it appears that there have been several waves of migration: from central China, from the ancient Jomon culture of Japan, from south Asia or the Pacific islands. And "Luzia," an 11,500-year-old female skeleton in Brazil "appeared to be more Negroid in its cranial features than Mongoloid," in the stodgy anthropological terminology of the New York Times (Nov 9, 1999). But there is also a uniquely North American X-haploid group of mitochondrial DNA, which could uphold American Indian traditions of origins in North America."Charred Feathers 03:55, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Good. Then where you put your addition, reference it. OldManRivers 04:19, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

theory rascist insensititve and well, outdated n wrong

the bering straight theory has been disproven through examinations of native oral histories and newer archeological evidacne. thus go by by from articleCharred Feathers 04:10, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

They need citations, and even though it's discounted, it still needs to be there for historical content. You cannot delete something that substantial in the article because you feel like it. OldManRivers 04:21, 8 May 2007 (UTC) this should help my caseCharred Feathers 05:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

The Bering strait theory has not been disproven - in fact it cannot be disproven. (FYI native america Inuits cross the bringstrait every day). Oral history is at best circumstantial evidence - and most scholars don't even think it is that. "Newer" archeological evidence suggesting different population histories is widely disputed. That homepage you link to is in no way a reliable source but rather some guys personal opinion. Please read up on the Wikipedia policies. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 06:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

hows this one?

oral history is not circumstancial, it is the counterpoint to the bering straight theory's imperialist views that the theft of the land and aprropriationb of all teh freedoms that went with it was justifiable. " because they arent actually from north america" the oral histories and native religions state definitivly " we havebeen hee since the dawn of time" which means a lot farther back then 20K years, and heck, there has been evidance , as postedin the lastest link that inmdicates that our presence is at least 2.5 times older then the beringstraight theory attests.Charred Feathers 07:18, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

It is not better than the first one. please understand that wikipedia is an encyclopedia and is supposed to contain the information that is currently the most widely accepted among the scholars who work in that field. The majority of scholars of precolumbian archaeology are not currently convinced by any of the supposed pre-clovis finds. The Bering strait theory or a combination of this with maritime coastal expansion is currently the most widely held theories, and as such the one that should be presented in this article. Alernative theories to the prevailing bering strait model are given at Models of migration to the New World. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 07:49, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

try this one.Charred Feathers 08:19, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

That's no more reliable or notable than the other two. And, FWIW, the Bering Strait migration model has zero relevance to, and is not reputably cited as justification for, the appropriation of indigenous lands in the Americas.--cjllw ʘ TALK 09:17, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

that ones been publshed by a phd and in print, so id say tis quite reliable. did you even read the article?Charred Feathers 09:26, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

He is a phd in political philosophy.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 09:51, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

and that affects his research methods how?Charred Feathers 09:58, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't know, the article you have linked to is not a research paper but an expression of opinion. Phd's are also entitled to have opinions, however their opinions are not necesarily any more scientific than the opinion of a welldigger, especially not if its an opinion about a field outside their area of expertise.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:59, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Well for starters, you would not expect a degree in political philosophy to give you any more authority in writing about paleoarchaeology than would a degree in structural engineering, or a masters in basketweaving. It's horses for courses. As for 'published', other than his family website it seems the only other organ which has seen fit to reproduce his manifesto has been the "newspaper of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Poplar, MT" - no doubt a fine paper in many ways, but a far cry indeed from some notable, peer-reviewed scientific journal. And yes, I did read it- while it's even possible to sympathise with a couple of sentiments, eg that Native American peoples are not some homogenous unit (hardly ground-breaking stuff), his cherry-picking of anomalous very-early-dated artefacts (which have long-since been discounted by other analyses as mistaken readings and pseudo-artefacts not of human manufacture) does not instill confidence in whatever research methods he employed.
I am sorry, but even if you provided a hundred similar links, it would not alter the fact that the prevailing view of the scientific community is that the peopling of the Americas came about through one or several migrations across what is now the Bering Strait, even if the timing of the earliest migrations is a little open. Accordingly, it's not appropriate to persist in deleting this, or altering its content to suit anyone's personal views on it. So, please desist.--cjllw ʘ TALK 13:39, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

thats just it, the scientifici community has it al ass backwards in thier approach, they should b looking at the oral historoes and seeing how they can say sientificially proove THAT, not look for more ways rascists can say " yeah well they aint really native are they?"Charred Feathers 15:27, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

an encyclopedia is the place to present the current status of scientific consensus - if you want to revolutionize science it has to be done elsewhere.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:54, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

your scientific community is biased twards the imperialistic ideals that i have previously mentioned, the real trouble is that they are steadfast in attempting to stick to those ideas.Charred Feathers 17:50, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Do not say "your community" as if you are not part of it. By merely entering into this debate you have joined the community. -Rebent 17:57, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

i am an outsider, not from it, hence hte veiwpoint. by the way, look ath te artciles on wikipedia concerning Cultural genocide and Ethnocide if you would. youll find that the conecpts a re quite clearly involved in this topic.Charred Feathers 18:04, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I am quite certain the perpetrators of Cultural genocide and Ethnocide exhibited little interest in the genetics or archaeology of Native Americans. It's quite unfair to tag science, archaeology or anthropology as being tools of imperialism, racism or genocide - to be sure, it is the lack of science and rational thinking that led to half-baked justifications for expropriating or killing the people who lived here before mass arrival of the Europeans. The forces and ideologies behind the Inquisition, trying Galileo for heresy, and obliterating whole cultures in the New World were not unrelated. Twalls 20:34, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Well said, Twalls, well said. Charred Feathers, your animosity towards the scientific community is misplaced. If you were to survey contemporary literature from scientists concerned with the study of Native American cultures and history —archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnohistorians, linguists— you should soon see that far from the 19thC patrician stereotype, scientists are at the forefront in raising awareness of and promoting respect for the real-world concerns of indigenous peoples. Whether it be in public education, or in organising to preserve moribund languages and threatened cultures, or advising and lobbying governments and multinationals against infrastructure projects which would damage cultural sites, deplete the indigenous environment or result in removals and loss of traditional lands, you will find the voices of scientists prominent among them. In southern Mexico and Guatemala for example, scientists have frequently and openly disputed with the militaristic and genocidal policies of regimes towards the indigenous Maya, to the point of being targeted by the hit squads themselves.
I do not claim that all scientists think and act in this way, or that scientific history is unblemished in this respect. Perhaps, given some past episodes, it's reasonable, or at least understandable, to maintain a degree of skepticism over motives. But in the main, it is not only the efforts of the indigenous peoples themselves but also those of the scientific community and other interested parties that there is any public awareness of indigenous issues and cultures, at all. And as for those in the wider community who think "yeah well they aint really native are they", that's a view held in ignorance or rejection of scientific assessment.
So, Charred Feathers, I would encourage you to reconsider your targetting of this material. If you are interested enough to counteract stereotypes and promote a better understanding of Native American cultures, then the way to go about it is not to delete or discount evidence-based scientific sources. Instead, these self-same sources would be prime ones to use when seeking citations for data and viewpoints which argue against racial stereotyping of Native American groups. Contributions made in a positive and NPOV manner are welcome, unlike actions such as repetitive deletions which disruptively persist in making a WP:POINT. --cjllw ʘ TALK 01:06, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, you said it better than I did, cjllw. Indeed, I can understand the skepticism of "outsiders" or people who come into American Indian communities to allegedly help them - just read Russell Means' autobiography for a small insight into his 20th centry experiences in the same subject (he also takes a somewhat anti-science approach, but nonetheless a great man). But having worked in the field myself, I can personally attest to the scientific community working hard for conservation of both cultures and the environment... a very good scientist friend of mine has been involved in helping Amazonian people in Peru obtain legal title to their land to prevent further encroachments by the usual suspects - that's just one anecdote/example. And I'm not talking about celebrities or perennial political activists wanting to appear in the spotlight as do-gooders. From the (late) 20th Century on, many efforts to teach native languages to local kids are also due to the efforts of linguists (who are also scientists) cataloguing these languages and preparing teaching materials for them and encouraging their use. This way, culture, oral histories, traditions, and the like can be better preserved. So, I would strongly view science and the pursuit of knowledge in general as an important ally. Twalls 02:02, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Also, to assert that all indigenous peoples have or must have identical world views or subscribe to one particular allegory or another is quite unfair - it's groupthink to the max, if you will. It's akin to saying all Germans think alike, all proletarians think alike, all dolichocephalics think alike (I'm poorly paraphrasing Ludwig von Mises here). Many of my colleagues in the field were full-blooded native American - they were always proud of their individual cultures and languages and they fully embraced scientific research methods and technology. I'm not one to throw the term around loosely, but I understand racism to include the unfortunate belief that a person's ideas or character are defined by his race or ancestry. Legends and oral histories are vitally important, and they can teach us and actually point us in directions where we'd never think of looking, but one cannot maintain they are just as valid as facts that are tangible or verifiable. To say they are is just hokey relativism. Twalls 02:00, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Seriously, Charred Feathers

Your constant reverts to old versions of the article that you added which have repeatedly been undone due to your inability to understand WP:OR, WP:POINT, WP:FORM, WP:STYLE, WP:CITE, and many other basic rules are getting on my nerves. You added some valuable information to this page regarding oral histories contradicting science, but you need to understand something important: Wikipedia is a Scientific encyclopedia. Everything we have here is based on fundamental western ideal of scientific proof. That is who we are. You're never going to be able make wikipedia replace scientific viewpoints with ones based on non-scientific cultural theories and, let's be frank, unreliable stories. If you don't accept that, maybe you could find a Native American Folklore and Oral Tradition Wiki somewhere online. --Rebent 02:26, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

<<Everything we have here is based on fundamental western ideal of scientific proof.>>

Hehe. You certainly haven't seen the Israel pages.

(written before "editing out insults" for contexts sake) so you think that grave robbings all right then? thats what taking bodies out of native cemetaries for study is. youll never see them do it to "modern" graves without permission....but they plow over native graves for shopping malls, and golf courses, and they dig them up without even trying to ask if their descendants are okay with it without re interring them this is not what i would call a forgivable practise. I have also noticed that articles on religions state what they state, without science as a mitigating factor, nor are the creation myths of the christians or the greeks ever called hogwash in whatever shape or form, many native religions are called exactly that by this article simply by omitting the native standpoint. the culture section reads like theres only one or two and they are mostly the same, which is complete bollocks, there were over five hundred distinct cultures on this continent alone before the arrival of europeans. this , and many other articles on natives ( and alternative religions i have noticed) seems rather anti native in its presentation, hardly neutral at all.Charred Feathers 02:56, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, but you're still inserting blatant commentary into the article (particularly with that comment about the discovery of a 10,000 year-old tooth being grave robbing). Every time you do that, it is going to be reverted. What's wrong with trying to build a consensus about the way things are presented first instead of trying to upset the apple cart here? If you feel native cultures are sometimes treated as one big hodegepodge (which you are right about) then let's work to fix it. The title of that section though, refers to culture in general and can be in the singular 'Culture' without implying that there is no diversity in native cultures. And it follows that native cultures do not all have identical oral histories or beliefs -- something which you unfortunately seem to imply in things you have written. Thanks, Twalls 14:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


This is such a poor section of this article. First of all, the content is truly minimal. Second, of all the opening sentences paint a picture of extreme disparate origins with no shared culture between them. Third, these suggestions are completely unrefrerced and conjectural.

Any comparison of the indigenous peoples of Eurasia or the indigenous peoples of Africa will show them to more diverse than the indigenous peoples of America, who share related linguistic, ethnic, and material culture. Sure, there are interesting differences and unique features which distinguish the different groups, but in an article of this sort it is more informative to begin pointing out the shared culture (i.e. top to bottom approach). Individual differences should be addressed in the individual wiki pages for that group.

I suspect that the culture/cultures debate is informed less by anthropological insight and more by a desire to show high levels of diversity and unconnectedness. Jake of A 11:37, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

im sorry but i don't really see how the Micmac (Atlantic region) have anything in common with the Haida-gwai (spelling) or either of them are in any way like, say, the hadalashawnee, i mean none of them are even remotely similar, and yet they are lumped together, like only natives from cowboy movies are even real to whoever wrote that section...Charred Feathers 11:51, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I am Sorry Jake but you are wrong in the assumption than Africa or Europe has greater cultural diversity than the americas - that is simply an unfounded statement. Linguistically the Americas along with Papua New Guinea are the two most linguistically diverse regions in the world, much more diverse than Africa, Australia, Asia or Europe. It is true that Greenbergs classification seems to cover up this fact but there is a reason that this classification is completely disregarded in the general linguistic community - that reason being that it is wrong. Comparing cultures with regards to percentage of similarity is an undertaking that has no basis in anthropological theory so stating that the americas is less culturally diverse than Europe is unverifiable and OR. Fact is that there is no single cultural trait that you can name that is shared by all the cultures of America (unless it is also shared by the majority of the worlds population). Talking about "Indigenous american culture" is as uninfomed and uninforming as to talk about African or Asian culture, i can only be regarded as stating a stereotype.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:44, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

recent edits

of mine are intendedto show that the bering stright thingee is stil ljsut a theory, and even though this is not entered into the article by me as of yet, it is losing ground.Charred Feathers 02:59, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

reverted the bering stright thingee edits as they were unsourced and rather poorly written.
On a related note, it would appear that we need a source in English, either a translation for the Russian language source of Ilya Zakharov, or some additional sources in support. Vsmith 03:57, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

read the bering straight land bridge theory, its plain as day in them sorry about my spelling, i come to edit when im off work.... some times im dead tired but still trying.Charred Feathers 04:28, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

So who exactly uses the Bering Strait theory currently to justify colonialism? Are there names or citations to back this up? And who is the target audience for the alleged justifications? To me the whole "to justify colonialism" criticism is setting up a straw man that doesn't exist. Twalls 02:33, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Agricultural endowment

this list is too long for this page. it either needs to be made its own page or removed completely. I'm sure this information can be better suited for some other topic, perhaps its own page. And if it isn't relevant or significant , then we shouldn't even have it? --Rebent


The word Indian has recently come under fire for being insensitive or not politically correct. This is based on the notion that Columbus thought he was heading for India. Recently i have heard a different version from several different sources, including a curator for a museum of Native American history in Arizona, who happened to be a Navajo. The story is that because of a certain law if a newly discovered people were pagan (worshiped many gods) they could be conquered with no qualms. But since most Indians worshipped one god with a hierarchy of spirits (which Columbus likened to saints) Columbus befriended them. He apparently gave them the name Endeos (meaning one god, it may be misspelled). I realize that not only is this original research but it also flies in the face of certain theories. However it would be helpful if anyone who can finds anything on the subject could either include it in the article or prove me wrong. Please do not delete this based on the OR policy. 05:15, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Columbus befriended the Indians? The way I heard it, he enslaved and decimated them. I'm sorry to say this story has been debunked in the past.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 06:10, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Maybe befriended is the wrong word more like he didn't kill them all for heresy

Far too many internal links?

Yeesh, does every aboriginal culture have to be linked? I mean, there are hundreds more... why link Olmecs, Chipewa, etc... while leaving countless others out? Many are already linked and mentioned in the article. Then, there are things like Frank Baum's horrendous views... relevant, but worth a link? I think such links need to be incorporated into the article. May I respectfully suggest that we pare down the "SEE ALSO" area? --Dylanfly 14:32, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Article bias and tone

This article contains bias. It purports contraverial theories without mentioning counterpoints. Makes no mention of recent discoveries that Europeans may have been the first peoples of the Americas. Fails to mention that some native tribes were cannibals, committed human sacrifices, and enslaved each other. Its has an politized blame the European taint and is not a neutral point of view.Thomas Paine1776 18:44, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

please give specific examples and sources to back them up. You can put up a POV tag when you do that, but simply stating that the article is POV and not backing it up is just as POV as you claim the article currently is --Rebent 18:58, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Tom Paine: this article links to Models of migration to the New World, which discusses the Solutrean theory. This article, however, is primarily about the extant and historically known indigenous peoples of the Americas, who happen to evidence a notable degree of racial uniformity—I don't think anyone argues that Europeans are a major part of the ancestry for very many such indigenous peoples. As for cannibalism, human sacrifices, etc., these are cultural traits, and the article doesn't really have much to say about culture. With good reason, too, since "No single cultural trait can be said to be unifying or definitive for all of the peoples of the Americas". As far as the "blame the European" bias of the article, what specifically do you want to change?—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 19:04, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Take the opportunity to look for the examples yourself. The article discusses politicized and highly criticized theories of diseases and ignores facts which devastated the so called indigonous peoples like canibalism, slavery by other tribes, and so on. It needs a balance. The blame the European slant needs to go. Moderate the tone. I'll be happy to change it at some point, it someone doesn't know how. Thomas Paine1776 19:13, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

The article did mention the Solutrean hypothesis at one point, but it disappeared in the constant edit wars here. However, the Solutrean hypothesis does not suggest major migrations nor does it attempt to establish the primacy of any group of settlers; it merely suggests that Solutreans may have crossed the North Atlantic at a time when it was covered with ice sheets and introduced a specific tool-making complex which eventually spread among other inhabitants of North America. The verification of pre-Columbus mtDNA Haplogroup X with an epicenter in northeastern North America doesn't prove it, but certainly makes it more probable.
As for your other point, it may very well be true that specific groups enslaved others, waged war and yes, even damaged their local environments. But to include things of this nature seems to be just a reaction to any existing PC bias. The article should deal with the subject matter in an objective way, not some tit-for-tat, PC vs. anti-PC debate. Political correctness often prevents good scholarship, but the way to combat it is not by overcompensating. Thanks, Twalls 20:23, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, don't forgot the human sacrifice and cannibalism among the native tribes along with the enslavement, and even wars among the tribes. These are noteworthy reasons for devastation among the tribes. Blaming Europeans is simply a bias, and it needs to go. Good scholarship now says the first peoples may certainly have been Europeans, making them the first so called indigenous group. A prior removal of current scholarship only further shows how the article lacks a neutral point of view. Perhaps, a more appropriate title should be Early people of the Americas and include Europeans as the possible first early group. Certainly, Europeans and their decendants are not to blame for the current devastation on other continents today such as Africa and Asia, are they? Thomas Paine1776 21:46, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Once again, you forget to cite any sources. You must do so before we will make any changes. --Rebent 22:57, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
As I understand it, cannibalism practices reported by early European explorers were often overly sensationalized or outright false -- sometimes told to Europeans by Indians hostile to the alleged cannibals. Not to say it didn't happen, but it was probably rare. I could be convinced otherwise by good sources (ie, not rehashings of old horror stories of "savages" gone wild with minimal supporting data). As for Indian slavery -- it's true that it was an ancient practice. But it's also true that some early European colonies established trading systems that transformed Indian slavery into something much more destructive, on a much larger scale, and driven by "market forces" with slaves becoming a "commodity". There are some great and well-researched books that explore this topic in depth. User Paine1776 is saying that Indian slavery "devastated" native peoples. This much is true, but the practice of slavery among Indians was transformed into something truly devastating via European colonies willing and eager to purchase Indian slaves in vast numbers in exchange for the very technology needed for Indians to resist becoming targets of slave raids themselves. One good source on this topic, at least for southeast North America, is: Gallay, Alan (2002). The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South 1670-1717. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10193-7. As for Europeans settling the Americas before the Indians, this is a theory I'd never heard before. Sounds fishy. Pfly 07:38, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

There's no real need for a POV tag. Also, which scholarship claims Europeans may have been "first"? Perhaps the made-for-tv version of the Solutrean theory raises that question, but not its actual proponents. As I said above, they make no claims whatsoever about anyone being "first". MtDNA studies point to the antiquity of the Haplogroup X variant in the Americas, suggesting early separation from the Eurasian Haplogroup X, but again, these studies make no assertions about time of arrival in the Americas or even the route relative to other genetic markers. If there is serious scholarship other than that, please point it out. I see no occasion for a flag-planting contest. Twalls 09:48, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, you've failed to cite any sources claiming cannibalism was not practiced. (Of course, a long time ago apologists once tried to deny the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice). The very word carribe comes from cannibal. You've acknowledged the tribes enslaved each other, so why isn't it in the article? Europeans may have been the first peoples in the Americas. The article fails to note the positive influences Europeans had on the tribes. It fails to not that the slaves and Cortez overthrough the Aztec slave rulers. Textbook publishers are including it and its in refeered journals. Of course it probably hasn't diffused to the world's more biased PC crowds. The articles tone and content are suspect. This sentence in the introduction, "The unitary idea of "Indians" was not one shared by most indigenous peoples, who saw themselves as diverse." The writer claims to know what's going on inside the motives and minds of a groups of people (which experts themselves still explore), with modern political jingoisms like "diverse." The article slants opinion by claiming the so called indigenous were civilizations while calling not extending the same term to the Europeans, emphasing conquitadores, eg. "The territory of modern-day Mexico was home to numerous indigenous civilizations prior to the arrival of the European conquistadores. In fact the so called indigenous like the Aztecs/Mayans had emperors, that makes them more properly Empires rather than civilizations. The article features a blame-the- European tone with speculative highly questionable disease theories which purportedly can determine the immune systems of peoples long ago, when experts have difficulty today. This article is not a neutral point of view, perhaps with time and polishing it can be. Thomas Paine1776 19:57, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
An empire is, of course, a subset of civilizations. What does your phrase "Empires rather than civilizations" mean? Also, one of of your examples, the Maya civilization, were never united under an emperor nor fullfilled the usual definitions of being an empire any more than the city states of Greece before Philip. -- Infrogmation 22:58, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I agree that the article is lacking in many ways. My earlier comments were in response to "[the article describes] politicized and highly criticized theories of diseases and ignores facts which devastated the so called indigonous peoples like canibalism, slavery by other tribes, and so on". I'm not saying that slavery and cannibalism did not exist. I'm just skeptical that either had much to do with the devastations of the post-1492 era. Or at best that European contact often transformed previous practices and ways of life into more destructive forms. This is not to blame the European. In the American Southeast, for example, natives conducted slave raids on other natives by their own choice. The mere presence of European trading posts, where slaves could be sold and manufactured goods acquired, changed the context of Indian slavery. There is plenty of blame to go around on all sides, if one wants to blame. The pages Indian slavery and Cannibalism could both be linked to (and both could use improvement as well). I'll leave the topic of disease aside. It's a broad topic and I'm too tired at the moment. But in any case, "blaming the Europeans" doesn't make sense for epidemics. Pfly 05:43, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

The article is lacking certainly. It fails not only to mention new discoveries that Europeans may have been the first peoples in the Americas, it also fails to mention challenges to so called Berengia land bridge, which may be a fable. eg. Jablonski poses the issue in the Journal of Field Archeology (Vol 28, 2001, p. 459)[2] that research now shows the earliest cranial anthropoligical origin/forensic evidence for the American Indian population appears to more closely resemble with that of Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, not NE Asia. Thus, the Berengia land bridge theory collapses upon itself. That would vindicate Columbus on use of term Indian. After all, Pacific Islanders found Hawaii by boat. On the questionable disease theories, it fails to mention diseases already present in the Americas. The whole disease section needs to be thrown out or revamped. Scientists are still learning about immune systems. Also, unified or not, many scholars properly refer to the Maya as an empire, it had emperors, it fell as an empire, with commonalities, including National Geographic, PBS, scholars, etc., noted on the Maya civilization talk page. National Geographic, PBS and others properly call it the Mayan empire - "National Geographic's Lost Kingdoms of the Maya (1997) "the Mayan empire was a cosmopolitan center . . " (Not many empires within) [3], "the first Mayan empire lasted from 300 to 900." "For a thousand years they ruled . . " "Seemingly in an instant, the Mayan Empire, the focus of the second episode of Spirits of the Jaguar, collapsed" from PBS: Maya Children of the Corn., Honest researchers simply cannot dismiss that Maya may have had a concillor structure, the Aztecs had one. Maya rulers took specal names such as Pacal the Great, they were not simply a collection of mayors of towns. The Aztecs used such names as great. Recent discoveries like the massive Mayan Palace at Cancuen which researchers did not know about are further evidence.[4]. Thomas Paine1776 17:08, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
ThomasPaine1776, are you going to cite a study that claims humans from Europe were "first"? As I have attempted to point out, none of the theories I have read about attempt to establish any sort of primacy -- they only try to show that humans may have come from Europe at one point in time, irrespective of when any other group came. A theoretical Solutrean migration around 17,000 BC does not rule out migration by watercraft from Asia in 20,000 or 25,0000 BC. As the first migrants were undoubtedly few in number, we will have a very hard time locating evidence, as it is probably buried, underwater, or may have been erased by natural causes (particularly organic materials or simple tools). Taking this into account, we cannot speak of who was "first," we can only talk about the oldest discovered remains.
Also, the Bering Strait theory cannot be fairly referred to as a "fable," it is widely accepted as at least one of the migration routes into the Americas (although probably not during the timeframe once claimed by the Clovis Firsters). To my knowledge, the Bering Strait route is only doubted by those who believe in certain American Indian creation myths (see discussion above). I don't know of any modern scholarship disputing The Bering Strait route, only the time periods during which the corridor was ice-free. Thanks, Twalls 02:27, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

The second paragraph shows incredible bias. The mention of Europeans believing Indians to be "primitive" and "heathens" does not belong in the second paragraph of the article. 23:11, 30 July 2007

Well, it is true that many Europeans and people of European origin believed them to be so, and likely still do, but it is absurd to claim the invention of the term Indian was a "useful tool" to make colonization easier (according to this line of reasoning, if Europeans had called them Native Americans from the beginning, fewer would have been killed or displaced). It seems nothing more than postmodernist hokum, and I've removed that. Thanks, Twalls 04:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Hey there, easy on the deletions. Calling them "Native Americans" from the beginning, yes, would have worked nearly as well. The key for this article is that the "Indian" was immediately invented as a category capable of defining all peoples from Argentina to Alaska. To this day, many are unified--or see themselves--in this category. From 1492 onward, the fates of the indigenous peoples were very, very much connected to their conceptualizations in the minds of Europeans. That's not hokum, that's wampum--and, my friends, you can take it to the bank. --Dylanfly 13:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
That's good. Thanks for the smile. BTW, I was objecting to the postmodernist tone - "being oppressed by language" and that sort of thing. I do agree that there is a connection with conceptualization in the minds of Europeans by having one term for all native peoples of the Americas , but what does one expect? I mean, if the term didn't exist, it would have to be invented. I think its historical usage may deserve fair discussion, but I think it not so necessary early on in the article. Twalls 23:45, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Hmm? Natives "proudly" call themselves Indians? Where's the proof (aka the reliable sources) of this? Considering I am fully "Native American," I haven't met many other Natives who call themselves an "Indian" without some sort of negativity behind it... oncamera(t) 14:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
See Native American name controversy. "I prefer the term American Indian because I know its origins." - I AM AN AMERICAN INDIAN, NOT A NATIVE AMERICAN!, by Russell Means[5] Rmhermen 15:22, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Russell says this often. I don't know about the "In Dios" etymology, but I respect what he says. Twalls 23:45, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, oncamera, what about the American Indian Movement? What about (as our article Native American name controversy points out), the survey which showed a preference among indigenous people for "Indian" over "Native American", and what about the quotation from Charles Mann where he points out that, "every native person whom I have met (I think without exception) has used 'Indian' rather than 'Native American'"? Actually, on the strength of these last two points, I think that moving Native Americans in the United States to American Indians in the United States could become a live issue again.
"Una gente in dios", by the way, was debunked here, back on the old talk page for Native American.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 03:22, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Who said AIM or Russel Means ever represented the majority of Native opinions or feelings? It's just a group of activists like any other: Do Democratic or Republican agendas represent every "Average American's" feelings? Does every African-American think like Rev. Jesse Jackson? And, Charles Mann's quote is hardly worth noting, since his "Every Indian I've met..." is worth just as much as saying, "Every Native I've met..."oncamera(t) 18:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I had misread your initial statement. You said, "I haven't met many other Natives ...", but I thought you said, "I haven't met any other Natives ...", so I wanted to point out to you that there are some. Whether they are in the majority is, as you correctly point out, not established by the example of AIM. I do think, however, that the evidence of a survey plus the testimony of an expert author who has interviewed indigenous persons from throughout the Western hemisphere is much more relevant than the anecdotal remarks of an editor on this talk page.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 03:20, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Refs need cleanup

This article is a total mess when it comes to reference citation formatting. The "Notes" section needs to be eliminated (or restricted to explanatory footnotes, not reference citations), and all of the references done inline with <ref name="...">...</ref> and <ref name="..." />. As it stands now, the refs are completely bollixed in many cases, with Harvard short style being used before the reference has even been referred to in full, and so forth. There are also numerous bare URL "references" that needs to be done properly with {{cite web}}. Etc. PS: See {{rp}} if one ref. needs to be cited numerous times at different page numbers/ranges. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:43, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Excellent points, SMccandlish! Alas, it will fall on you, wikignomes, and other brave souls. The topic attracts people of various familiarity with proper notation. If you're able to start the shoveling, no doubt others will join in. I'm deep into fixing the muck of consciousness, otherwise I'd lend a hand. --Dylanfly 00:30, 24 July 2007 (UTC)


This article gives a good, brief, description of why the term "Indians" is used. The First Nations page describes in some detail the connotations and origins of that term, along with a list of other terms used in Canada for indigenous peoples. A term like "Native Americans" seems pretty straightforward as to its intent and origins, but I still think it would be useful to have an article describing the different terms applied in different parts of the Americas, the connotations associated with them, etc. LordAmeth 13:31, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I believe that's supposed to be what Native American name controversy is for.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 14:48, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah. Hadn't seen that article. Thanks. Sorry for the bother. LordAmeth 16:32, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps this topic requires two different sections

It may to be time to conceed that emotions on this issue run too high for both the "European" and indigenous perspectives to be included in the same entry. In truth no one can ever know the exact history of the conquest of The Americas since all involved are long dead and written accounts are surely to be considered biased. However, there are interesting stories emanating from both sides that deserve to be read and studied. Therefore, it seems logical that the only way to stop this entry from turning into a spleen-venting exercise is two break it into two totally separate entries that are linked as is standard within the Wikipedia template.

Solutrean hypothesis does not contend Europeans were "first"

The hypothesis as advanced by Messrs. Stanford and Bradley makes no claims as to who first reached the Americas, as the hypothesis does not address the timing of other migration routes. The sensationalized title of the article cited was written by the LiveScience staff writer, not the scholars proposing the theory. I think this should read "The Solutrean hypothesis contends that Europeans also migrated to the Americas." Twalls 23:48, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Text book publishers and the media are also reporting it, its already on text book CDs, by the dates for the discovered evidence, Europeans may have been first in the Americas. Too late for the PC biased crowd. Migrated would not the proper term, if they came by sea from Europe.Thomas Paine1776 21:18, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Please don't change my original post - you changed the title to fit your viewpoint, which you still haven't cited evidence for and you have not addressed the specific points I have raised with you. This has nothing to do with PC or non-PC. I have asked you to cite specific claims from the proponents of the hypothesis that anyone was "first" and you haven't, other than a sensationalized title of an article. Which textbooks claim the Solutrean hypothesis is exclusive?
The theory mounts a serious challenge to accepted dogma in that it points out that Clovis tookmaking has no direct progenitors in Alaska or Siberia, but it does not bar, for instance, Pacific coastal migration routes into the Americas at an earlier date. The theory mainly deals with the similarities in the Clovis and Solutrean toolkits and identifies possible US east coast sites as transitional between the two (Meadowcroft, Cactus Hill etc.) From my reading, Stanford and Bradley do consider Pacific routes to be viable as well - they just didn't bring anything similar to Clovis tools with them. Twalls 22:08, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Who said exclusive as you are alleging? It says "may." The Solutrean hypothesis suggests Europeans may have been first in the Americas, but so does the work of Archeologist Silvia Gonzalez at John Moores University and researchers at Oxford Research Laboratory of Archeology. Is Oxford good enough. Is the Scientific Journal Nature too sensational, Nature (journal) (3 December 2002 Vol 425 p.62).[6]. A text book example, since you asked, is the major publisher Houghton Mifflin's World History by Littell, that cites the data in its new CDs that Europeans may have been first in the Americas. The scientists in Britain dated the finds to be the oldest and have identified the human remains to be like those of white Western Europeans today. Nature also mentions Bradley and the Solutrean hypothesis. Thomas Paine1776 00:05, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
That link appears to contains an article from The Independent and one from New Scientist. The second article has a footnote reference to Nature (journal), after the sentence The Pericú hunter-gatherers survived until just a few hundred years ago at the end of the peninsula, says Rolando González-José, of the University of Barcelona, Spain. Just wanted to point out that reference linked to above is not from Nature. Not to claim that Nature doesn't say what Paine1776 says, just that the link provided does not reference an article in Nature. The only statement referenced to Nature is the one about Pericú hunter-gatherers. Pfly 01:54, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
It's VERY problematic to put the Solutrean in the lead. It's SO controversial and SO unaccepted by the vast, vast , vast number of archaeologists. I think it belongs in the body (where it already is), but it's patently POV-ish and controversial to stick it up in the lead, as if it's being widely considered. The reactions on this discussion page have been rightly expressed great concern with the Solutrean and also with the way that the Solutrean is being represented. I think, ThomasPaine1776, you are unwilling to see that in this democratic sphere, your insistence on the Solutrean cannot withstand a barrage of serious objections. I think we can agree that the Solutrean stays in the body, but not in the lead.--Dylanfly 15:30, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the Solutrean hypothesis should not be in the lead. In fact, I don't even think it should be in the article, other than as an internal wiki-link to the Models of migration to the New World page (something like "see also..."). I feel this way because I think it is only tangential to the topic of Indigenous People, while it is centrally important to the Models of Migration topic. Since this page covers Indigenous Americans generally, this page should only have a brief summary of the MOST accepted model, which is the east Asian Beringian migration around 12,000 years ago. We could put it to an official vote if necessary. TriNotch 19:01, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The totality of the evidence no longer supports what has been termed as accepted theory. The new evidences have been dated and are not in question as the source notes. Leading scholars know there is a serious problem with what is termed accepted, thus it is not a good 'model,' its a model in serious doubt. Text books are including the information placing the model in doubt. And its not the only challenge. Thus, there should be a statement in the lead that what is termed accepted may no longer be tenable and why. And there are still other problems with the lead. Thomas Paine1776 20:03, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Dylanfly, TriNotch et al.— this article is not the place to delve into the finer points of debate on alternative, minority-held hypotheses concerning the peopling of the Americas. In particular, mention of the Solutrean one in the lead is to give undue emphasis to a proposal still viewed with considerable scepticism by a majority in the field. There'd be half-a-dozen or more alternative hypotheses concerning New World origins in current circulation, singling out the Solutrean proposal gives a false and problematic impression that it is more seriously considered than is actually the case.
We have whole other articles devoted to reviewing these alternative models, this is where coverage on the Solutrean proposal and others should go. Per TriNotch, a simple statement along the lines of "for a review of alternative New World migration models, see [here] and [here]" should suffice. It would take up way too much space here to adequately address these, and they are far from central to this article's focus, the (contemporary) indigenous peoples of the Americas. It's not actually relevant when and from where the ancestral populations originated or migrated, their contemporary descendant populations would still be indigenous peoples of the continent.
Also, it is highly misleading, actually erroneous for the article to claim, as it does at the moment, that "The Solutrean hypothesis and other new evidence casts doubt that Native Americans were the first in the Americas". It implies that this 'doubt' or wonderment is held by some critical mass of field specialists, when that is not the case.--cjllw ʘ TALK 07:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Good points, cjllw. I think Thomas Paine1776 just doesn't understand the progression of science. In any field there are always going to be alternative theories. Sometimes, the wackiest, most ridiculed, most marginal theories become doctrine. That's what happened with the continental plates. And most of the time, alternative theories are tossed out, especially as new evidence comes along to knock them over. In archeology and paleontology this is a frequent occurrence. A new find or a better carbon dating comes along and things can change pretty quickly. For this reason, most archaeologists don't rewrite the book every time a new skull or arrowhead comes along. They patiently wait for more work to be done which will validate, modify, or undermine the theory. Your pursuit of this 'first to the hemisphere' Thomas Paine1776 seems to be a unwarranted and political maneuver. There's no support for your position on this discussion page, so you should just drop it. It's getting to the point where you seem to be deaf to this chorus of voices asking you to leave this theory out of the lead. Please think about how archeology progresses, how science moves, and bide your time. In a few years, the evidence might bear you out. --Dylanfly 14:24, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. It is not good wiki-practice to cherrypick speculative or tentative papers in support of a particular view, or (worse) second-hand reportage of these from the popular press, while at the same time ignoring the wealth of publications describing these views as controversial or at least needing more evidence to convince. You (Thomas Paine) would be better off looking at a range of publications in the field, and especially those that describe and weigh up the conventional or current consensus viewpoints and the 'challengers', to really make sense of the state of the debate. If you do this, I think you would find that while Dennis Stanford is indeed a reputable and respected scholar, to most of his colleagues he is still out on a limb on this one. Who knows, maybe some new finds or assessments will shift the ground in favour of Solutrean contact, but this ain't happened yet.
Re whether or not Stanford & Bradley claim Solutrean influences were earliest in the Americas, there does actually seem to be some justification for this characterisation. In a 2004 paper in World Archaeology, "The North Atlantic ice-edge corridor: a possible Palaeolithic route to the New World", they do write "Evidence has accumulated over the past two decades indicating that the earliest origin of people in North America may have been from south-western Europe during the last glacial maximum", and in general argue that "a Solutrean Palaeolithic maritime tradition gave rise to pre-Clovis and Clovis technologies". I don't know whether this claim of relative precedence appeared in their original 1998 presentation.--cjllw ʘ TALK 15:40, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out the quote, cjllw. The key phrase there is "may have been", not excluding other migrations via other routes at other times. I too, think the Solutrean hypothesis doesn't belong in the lead, but it is notable enough to include in the article. Others have made similar observations about the lack of Clovis progenitors based in northeast Asia/Beringia to argue for an earlier presence from elsewhere. Twalls 18:49, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
What has been termed the accepted model is collapsing with the new evidence as the sources note. The totality of the evidence no longer supports what has been termed accepted, leading scholars know there is a problem with it, the model is flawed. Not to mention that the dating of new evidence has been confirmed using the latest techniques, that is a serious blow to the model, not merely a peripheral paradigm. Texas A&M Anthrolpoligist Michael Waters and Thomas Stafford used precise dating, (Waters, Michael and Thomas Stafford, Journal of Science, 23 February 2007), Michael Waters said in an interview, "I think this paper does provide the final nail in the 'Clovis First' coffin.[7] Scholars are proclaiming the Clovis First model is at its end. Thus, there should be a statement in the lead that what is termed accepted may no longer be tenable and why. Thomas Paine1776 01:17, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
don't mind Thomas Paine1776 he makes good edits on detroit but when it comes to history or anthropology he has been consistantly irgnorant check him out on the mayan civilization talk page. -ishmaelblues
Hi Thomas, I think once again the sources you provide are misleadingly selected, and you are not recognising that claims like this are only part of the picture. If you omit reviewing the reaction, response and subsequent analysis of the claims, you are not providing the full story. Just because Waters and Stafford propose that their findings have "provided the final nail", it doesn't necessarily follow that all agree. In the self-same Science journal some 5 months later, no less than 15 of their colleagues put their names to a paper (see here) that was critical of Waters and Stafford's conclusions, and basically just didn't buy it. See comments such as "...have not definitively established the temporal span of this cultural complex [ie, Clovis] in the Americas,", and "...the proposed hypothesis lacks solid evidence or empirical support".
Also, even if 'Clovis-first' does get knocked out of contention, that's not necessarily or at all an endorsement of the Solutrean alternative, so either way what Waters and Stafford propose is not relevant for that. Unless you are changing tack, and instead of seeming to push the 'Solutrean solution' as a viable contender, you want to rally any and all counter-proposals to the Beringia model(s). But as mentioned several times before, this article is not the place to do it, there are more appropriate and specific articles where the competing models can be documented in the detail they require. So far all here, except you it would seem, are in favour of that approach.--cjllw ʘ TALK 08:56, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
This article is supposed be about indigenous peoples, its not a Clovis First or Berengia only topic, that would tie a bias of Clovis first to any and all topics on indigenous peoples. So how does it follow that there are other articles for mentioning competing models approach? Thomas Paine1776 18:37, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Edits to intro about agriculture, chiefdoms, states, etc

The paragraph being edited a bit recently seems to be about both agriculture and "complex" polities like chiefdoms, states, along with "monumental architecture", etc. It seems a bit confusing having the two topics so tightly linked. True "states" may have required agriculture, but chiefdoms, even complex ("paramount") chiefdoms and permanent towns existed among some hunter-gatherers (the most obvious example in my mind is the Pacific Northwest coastal areas). Also many societies practiced a mix of farming and hunting-gathering, yet established complex chiefdoms and built "monumental architecture". So I tried to separate the topics of agriculture and political systems a little, while still keeping the link somewhat.

I also removed the bit about "other groups were pastoral, nomadic, or foraging." Linking hunter-gatherer gets foraging in there. Nomad simply means a lifestyle of moving around, which can (and did) occur among farming people as well as hunter-gatherers, in the Old World as well as the New ("swidden" being a slash-and-burn nomadic farming method of ancient use in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World (not much practiced these days though). Also, some hunter-gatherers, like those Pacific Northwest peoples, were often sedentary and not nomadic. The term didn't seem appropriate for the paragraph so I moved it. Perhaps the topic of nomadic lifestyle could be address another way?

I also removed the mention of "other groups were pastoral". I'm guessing it's not pastoral so much as pastoralism that was meant -- that is, the domestication, breeding, and keeping of livestock, with a migratory or transhumance aspect. I have only a vague understanding of the use of llamas in South America. Was that truly pastoralism? In North America dogs were domesticated and kept, but not really breed as far as I know, and definitely not used in a pastorialist sense. In keeping with this, I also took out the word "fauna". Please add pastorialism and fauna back in if there are good examples. Pfly 19:40, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh and P.S., I agree that the term "complex societies" is misleading at best. "Complex chiefdom", on the other hand, seems to be a widely used term for chiefdoms that have more than one centralized "level" of authority. I've also seen them called "paramount chiefdoms". Either way the terms are probably a bit jargony. Too bad the chiefdom page doesn't does address these terms. I'll take out the word "complex" from my edit anyway, it's unnecessary. Pfly 19:45, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I think Pfly has done a good job salvaging this. I presume the original paragraph was conceived as a way to demonstrate the "advanced" achievements of Indians. But it read like it was written by someone who thinks that their are stages of "civilization." I felt that the unwitting subtext was "look, they weren't all primitives." It made me cringe. That's why I was editing it. I still think the lead is too long, though. Anyway, nice work by Pfly. --Dylanfly 14:15, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Ending the Debate

Dear Thomas Paine1776, I'm sure you're well intentioned, but you're just off the mark. Why don't you read the thing you posted [8]. First of all, New West is a newspaper, not an academic journal. Give us a real quote from Science next time. It does not even mention Europeans. It merely tries to suggest that the "Clovis" people may have been preceded by another people from Asia. It says NOTHING about Europe. Here are two quotes from YOUR own citation:

other people must have been prior to the Clovis, perhaps as long ago as 25,000 years before the present. These earlier people could have come via the Bering land bridge, or by sea, on routes that hugged the islands and shores of Asia and Alaska as much as possible.

Modern genetic research indicates that the first people to come to the two Americas originated in northeast Asia about 25,000 to 20,000 years ago. Most genetic studies are converging on a homeland near the border of Russian and Mongolia or Russia and China...

So you're either misunderstanding or misrepresenting your own evidence. Also, you erased a comment I made on your user page, so it feels like you're uninterested in sincere debate. The great Thomas Paine was a tremendous democrat (and anarchist), a form of knowledge production Wikipedia aspires to. It's time to admit defeat on this one. Nice try. If you feel the need to insist, I think you'll have to go to arbitration. --Dylanfly 14:04, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

So if you claim to know something about the topic why have you not seemed to understand the evidence I've cited. Some asked for the citations and hadn't even heard of it, so what gives any weight to their critique of it? Attempts to defend the stagnate dogma of the so called model are a failure, so why are you trying? You've not presented substance, only assertion. Leading scholars no longer accept what has been term accepted. It is a collapsing theory and it should be noted in the lead. Its time to admit that the other guy knows more than you do. The discussion is about the bias of this article for ignoring that the model is in trouble. There are more citations. Thomas Paine1776 17:07, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
My friend, can you not see that in the "evidence" you yourself have posted, Europeans are not even mentioned? That all genetic and linguistic evidence points to Asia? But there's another major point here: when speaking of "Indigenous Peoples of the Americas" it doesn't really even matter if Europeans somehow got there first. If so, they're gone. Indigenous people all have genetic and linguistic roots in Asia. I'm afraid you need to re-read your own "evidence." We're trying to be impartial and scientific here, but you seem to have some invested (racial?) interest in the idea that Europeans got here first. Please remember that that's a fringe theory, and that any supposed European presence from ancient times, if it ever happened, was obliterated by the Asian immigration. --Dylanfly 17:30, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
ThomasPaine1776 - the burden of evidence is on you: you must find quotations by reliable sources that unequivocally state that the Solutrean Hypothesis has replaced the Bering Strait Hypothesis as the most widely held by "leading scholars". Also you need to understand that the decision of what is to be included in the lead section and what is too peripheral is not yours alone to take - this must be done by a consensus of editors. As of now the consensus is against you - the solutrean hypothesis is simply too tangential in the view of most of us for it to be included in the lead. Please respect your fellow editors in this decision.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 17:39, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
My citations are among the better ones in the article. Some nay sayers hadn't even heard of the evidence, so what gives weight to their critique? The totality of the evidence doesn't support the stated model. The model is making questionable claims. Sources do cite the Solutrean hypothesis, Australians, and Southeast Asians. A Berengia only lead is a false lead, that establishes, ipso facto, a reason to include a sentence acknowledging the model is deficient in the lead. Whether a collective protectorate prevails with in a Berengia centric lead matters not when real world evidence shows the model is collapsing. Text books admit the Solutrean hypothesis is a reason, so why can't the Berengia defenders? Are some cited counterpoint scholars afraid Columbus would be vindicated if South East Asians and Pacific Islanders were native Americans? Science is also about freedom of thought and inquiry and science itself is in jeopardy if and when evidentiary suppression takes place. Our friend Dylanfly says if the Solutreans were there they are gone, yet one expert cited claimed it means the lineage of Native Americans will have to be reworked, thus the assertion is not on point. Yes, obviously, Europeans are not mentioned in all the sources, but they are mentioned in some of them as are Australians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders. Dylanfly seems to say that Indigenous people 'all' have genetic roots in Asia, yet sources say it may be also Europeans, thus again the assertion is not on point. Some want to defend the stagnate dogma of the so called model, why try? Are some afraid that the model will be exposed as phony and wish to protect it on its way down? That would be a bias. The article needs more of neutral lead recognizing or acknowledging the problems with the model. Thomas Paine1776 18:13, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

The title of this section is "Ending the Debate" thomaspaine1776 the debate is over -ishmaelblues

Dylanfly, I would not call the Solutrean hypothesis a "fringe" theory. Its advocates are few, but they are fairly well-respected. Other scholars have also made similar points about Clovis tools not having direct precursors in Siberia/Eastern Asia. I think Haynes suggests a similar early migration from Europe or Western Asia, but via north Asia. The pre-Columbian presence of mtDNA haplogroup X with its epicenter in northeast North America also has to be explained, along with the handful of other non-A,B,C,D mtDNA haplogroups that exist. This and the absence of Clovis progenitors elsewhere (except for LGM Europe) presents us with a big question mark, and the Solutrean hypothesis is not fringe for proposing a plausible solution, among several other non-exclusive theories.
To be sure, the Clovis-first barrier has been broken for a couple of years already. Twalls 22:26, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Nice points, Twalls! My choice of words was not the best in "fringe." Did not mean to slight it as scholarship, but rather reiterrate the point made repeatedly here by many of us, that it hasn't been accepted. It remains an interesting topic, for sure. --Dylanfly 14:02, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, you also make some very good points below that I hadn't considered before, Dylanfly. Twalls 18:54, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Thomaspaine is adding the same information that kept getting rejected on this page to the european american page. - ishmaelblues —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ishmaelblues (talkcontribs) 01:10, August 23, 2007 (UTC).

Tags on the Columbus/Indian paragraph

Perhaps upset that his own inclusion wasn't accepted in the lead, Thomas Paine1776 put fact tags all over the Indians/Columbus paragraph. I undid them, then ·Maunus· reinserted them. I think we should discuss here. Not every sentence in Wikipedia needs a reference. The fact that Indians did not think of themselves as unified, from the arctic to the antarctic isn't a controversial point. No one would even suggest that they knew of one another's existence, let alone conceptualize themselves as a massive cultural group. Instead, all of the objective evidence, in ethnography, historical texts, and indeed archaeological finds, points to widespread hatreds, wars, cultural clashes, etc. (indeed, this is a point that one Thomas Paine1776 loves to make). So it's pretty gosh darn clear that the "Indian", "Native American," or what have you, was the invention of Europeans. Ironically, as much scholarship attests, in 1492 "Europeans" did not yet exist, per se--they had yet to think of themselves as some common cultural/racial entity. The sheer fact of this category on Wikipedia is direct legacy of Columbus' conception of some quasi-unified Indian. --Dylanfly 14:02, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Hm, maybe they should read WP:POINT before adding tags if it's because their edits were removed. But since we're chatting about the opening paragraphs, is there no way to shorten the opening, since it's only supposed to be a summary? There's a bit too much detail the reader should find further down in the article. As in, the whole paragraph about defining "Indians" should really find a home further down in the article, I think. oncamera(t) 14:14, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
The edits that were removed were not mine in fact I opposed them- but I do think that a request for sourcing is valid for this article as a whole and for some statements in the lead in particular. For example it is controversial and not completely neutral to say that the europeans invented the term indian in order to have a tool for colonization. Also it is not scientifically sound to pass the bering strait model off as fact when it is in fact just a model which is seen to be the most probable on the basis of current knowledge. It would be much sounder to say that we don't know how the americas were peopled but that the theory that fits best with current evidence is the bering strait model. I am an avid fan of fact-tags since they clearly show readers and editors where there are statements that should be double checked against independent sources.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 19:23, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that with User:Oncamera that the LEAD is a bit too long, but I'm not sure that the "Indian" paragraph is the one to move. The whole reason we have this category in WP is because Columbus and those who followed came along and invented the idea that there are peoples of the Americas. The category itself is a social construct, with contradictions, ideological motives, and errors. I think that spelling out the invention of the category is essential to the WP article. I know that this defies common sense ("of course we have an article on Indigenous Peoples of the Americas") but it's just how cultural anthropology is done these days. The existence of the category makes sense, but comes with problems and comes with its own history. By including a genealogy of the term, we help illuminate the constructedness of the category itself. --Dylanfly 16:53, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
This article should be about the people of the Americas and less about the origin of a word as there is an article (i.e. Native American name controversy) that expands on that issue. The impact of Europeans on them has its section and thus the Indian-name-origin paragraph should find its home there. oncamera(t) 16:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
The point is that the very existence of a "people," unified in one preposterous category, from the north pole to the south pole, is an artifact of Columbus' misnomer. The "people" in question have a dubious existence. The "people" being named were thrust into one category by Europeans. Many of them wholly dispute being included in this unified category (the Inuit for example, see themselves as utterly distinct from other indigenous peoples). Others take great pride in the unified category, as you might experience at an All-Nations-Pow-Wow sometime. But the category itself is a cultural/social invention with its own peculiar history. --Dylanfly 17:06, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
This article isn't called "Indians of the Americas" for a reason, thus I don't see why there the word "Indigenous" in the article title does not suffice to tell the reader what the article is about. Why, look at European people; it doesn't go into details in the introduction to tell the reader that Europeans, in regards to their cultures, languages, etc., don't consider themselve to be one category either--Kinda gives the paragraph undue weight to be in the introduction. And All-Nations really has nothing to do with the origin of the word Indian paragraph being moved to the appropriate section. oncamera(t) 17:21, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
User Dynafly doesn't like the fact tags? Provide some support for the opinions. Thomas Paine1776 23:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) Assuming good faith and sincerety on the part of Paine1776, here's some thoughts on the fact tags added, by statement tagged:

  • "Indian" ... misnomer remains. Do you really doubt that the word Indian is still used today? I'm not even sure what kind of a source you're asking for. The US Bureau of Indian Affairs uses the word Indian in its name, so that link seems to show that the "misnomer remains". But somehow I'm not sure this is what you're asking for.
  • The misnomer ... has served to imagine a kind of racial or cultural unity for the autochthonous peoples of the Americas. This claim seems poorly worded. I'm not quite sure what is being claimed exactly. Can someone explain it?
  • The unitary idea of "Indians" was not one shared by most indigenous peoples Assuming this refers to pre-Columbian times (as the use of past tense and the earlier mention of Columbus suggest), then this seems self-evident. Having no other peoples to compare themselves to, "Indian" unity would be nothing more than the unity of being human. And in any case, it seems highly unlikely that pre-Columbian people knew about all the other people of the American continents.
  • who saw themselves as diverse. This is just part of the previous statement. There's no need for two fact tags. If they didn't see themselves as a unified people, how could they not then see diversity? But if you really want a source that tells of one group of Indians thinking another group is a different culture/society/people, it should be quite easy to find.
  • Europeans however have not until recently acknowledged the scope and variety of indigenous American populations This claim seems unsupportable to me. So I agree with the fact tag. I'd go further and just delete it. It's just not true. From the earliest contacts the Europeans were quite aware of the diversity of natives in the Americas.
  • but largely found it more convenient to talk about Indigenous Americans as a single fairly homogenous group. Like the previous claim, this one is also too sweeping and broad. Certainly there is usefulness in a term denoting the indigenous people of the Americas, like "Indian". Its useful for anyone, European or otherwise, who wishes to talk about all pre-Columbian Americans and their descendants. But it sounds like the claim being made here is that Europeans always found it more convenient to talk about Indians as a whole rather than, say, Cherokees. If that's the claim, it's definitely false. I suspect the author had a good point to make, but the way its worded comes off wrong. Pfly 04:36, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, it sounds like you also feel many of the claims in the paragraph are too vague and lack support. So why not remove them and rewrite the paragraph the way you think it should be. Also, the Federal Government and the Smithsonian use the term "Indian," that supports more that the term is not a misnomer. As far as the term Indian, many American Indians prefer the term. Use of the term 'misnomer' appears to be too broad and unsupported. If there are exceptions they could be noted. "Diverse" is PC term, there is no support offered that the Indians knew such a term or even considered it. It seems not to consider possible views of kinship among the various groups. If the point is that a unitary concept arose when the Indians encounted Europeans, that point is not well stated. On the other hand, if tribes were aware of their differences with other tribes, there is also no support offered. There is no justification to presuppose that Indians saw themselves as "diverse" without support or without being more specific. The paragraph should offer support if there is support that some or one group saw another another as diverse, friendly, hostile, and so on. A broad sweeping claim appears to be speculation. Further, if many natives were decended from the Pacific Islands and southeast Asia who came by sea as newer evidence suggests, Columbus would have been justified in using the term. Columbus was there, his critics were not. The topic itelf leaves out Columbus' perspective. It also lacks a discussion of the Catholic viewpoint, and many natives converted to Catholicism. Thomas Paine1776 15:23, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I think perhaps, if you reread the comments above, you'll comprehend a bit better. Right now you're quite missing the entire point. This paragraph is not about the naming controversy at all, nor is it a political question about who gets called what. And "diversity" is not simply a liberal term--it's also a handy part of the mundane English lexicon. The paragraph isn't meant to demonize Europeans or valorize Indians. The paragraph highlights the *invented* nature of the category: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas exist as a single unit from the moment Columbus named them. The category had no existence prior to that. The category continued and continues to have life as both a mechanism for colonialism and as a source of identity/pride for many natives. But whether it is good/bad/both/neither is hardly the point: the category itself is a cultural construction.

This refers back to User:Oncamera's note about European people. First, that's an atrociously bad WP article; second, and more importantly, Europe is an artifice--European people are a relatively recent invention. They did not exist in Columbus' day. And even today, debates *rage* about who and what Europe is: Turks? Ukrainians? Russians? Armenians? The category itself is a political and racial creation--that should be documented and noted in an encyclopedia. --Dylanfly 14:25, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

So this article isn't badly written either? Actually, it's not terrible but it's not feature quality either. Perhaps you should read WP:CITE and provide reliable sources for why A+B=C instead of removing the {{fact}} tag without providing them. Secondly, I still find the introduction to be too long, too long-winded, and could be written so there is a continuous flow of information instead of having paragraphs that read like they're misplaced. oncamera(t) 15:02, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I also think the intro is too long, or at least could be better worded (and where needed, sourced). If I find the time and energy I'll try to shorten/improve it. Copyediting can be hard though, and this page isn't all that high on priorities in my life at the moment. Adding fact tags can bring attention to problems in an article, but adding a whole bunch to a single paragraph, multiple times per sentence, is probably more likely to produce irritation than constructive work; especially when it isn't clear what kind of information is being requested (as I mentioned in the above comments on specific tags). Better, I suggest, to list troublesome claims here and say what the problem is. Now that I've brought the tagged claims over here and Paine1776 has replied, I think I understand better and could try to address them, time and energy permitting of course! Pfly 15:36, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I thought that Pfly did a nice job of enumerating why it's not necessary to reference every point made in the paragraph. Thomas Paine1776 is the one who flagged it, and all of his behavior suggests that his was a disruption born of frustration (WP:POINT). He has not attended to the commentary here, nor really comprehended it. As Pfly notes above, there's nothing controversial about saying that Indians didn't think of themselves as Indians or People of the Western Hemisphere or anything other than human. That's rather obvious, isn't it? Actually, what would be extraordinary would be if one claimed that people from the Amazon to Florida to Nova Scotia to Chile all had some unitary identity other than being human. It would be as extraordinary as, well, claiming that the people of France, Finland, and Hungary (entities which themselves didn't really exist) in 1492 thought of themselves as "European." This would blow apart everything we know about European history. The point is that the category of the Indigenous Person of the Americas was invented in 1492. It's pretty darn plain to see. --Dylanfly 16:08, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

On the contrary, Pfly enumerated why it is necessary change the paragraph saying, "I think I understand better and could try to address them, time and energy permitting of course!" So, someone should begin the change. Agree also with Pfly that the intro is too long. There is simply no support provided nor any particular reason to use 'diverse', and no reason to pile assumption on top of speculation. Thomas Paine1776 23:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Agricultural Endowment

I'd like to suggest that this become a paragraph or two, rather than a bulleted list. Each item (e.g. coca leaves) need not be explained, since most link to a fuller discussion elsewhere. Second, the tone of the paragraph--"endowment"--suggests that the agriculture of the Americas was some sort of gift or contribution to the world, rather than valuable on its own. It seems to imply "look what they gave us" or "they made advancements too." I think it's more encyclopedic just to discuss the agriculture on its own merits, without reference to "what it gave" anyone else. People can draw that conclusion themselves, I suppose. --Dylanfly 16:25, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I want to go ahead and make these changes, but am still waiting for reactions from fellow editors. Cheers, --Dylanfly 15:28, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I say go ahead. Your idea sounds very promising.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:46, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
It's September now, and only one reply. I went for it. Please chime in and tinker. Basically, I was feeling that a lot of it was redundant. E.g., anyone who wants to learn about indigenous uses of coca need only follow the link; ditto for tobacco, maize's origins, strawberries, and so forth. --Dylanfly 00:54, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. the reference for 50-60% is pretty weak. No offense to AgExporter but I don't think I'd be using that citation for a scholarly work. Also, it's not clear if we're speaking of tonnage, value, or sheer diversity of species. I'm guessing its tonnage, of which they speak, given the gargantuan amount of corn grown on this little planet, but that's not clear. Cassava rocks too. A clearer, better cite would help. --Dylanfly 00:57, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


Shall we archive everything up to the current debates? (I think the Solutrean in the intro. is settled, but we're still chewing on the TAGS on the "Indian" thing). I don't know how to archive, but I think it would be a good time, eh? --Dylanfly 16:30, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Modern statistics on indigenous populations

A check of these figures may be in order, at least of those figures changed by (talk · contribs) a couple of days ago in this edit. At the moment of this writing, this anon IP user has made a total of four edits, one to this article & three to Native Americans in the United States, all three of which introduced erroneous populations figures to that article. See also this user's talk page for documentation of these edits. --Yksin 18:49, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for staying on top of this, Yksin! --Dylanfly 18:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome. Please do check those figures, I unfortunately am unable to. -- This anon IP for the second time has claimed in an edit summary to be reverting my purported "vandalism" which in both cases was my reversion of the anon IPs introduction of deliberate factual errors. Looks like a trip to AIV for me. This just makes me all the more certain this person's edit here was also to introduce erroneous figures. --Yksin 19:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


The official numbers of amerindians in argentina are 400.000, that mean the 1% of the population, NO THE 10%!!!! --Shrewsbury333 03:50, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, ten percent sounds very high, unless one is counting mestizos, such as Diego Maradona.--Dylanfly 13:38, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Demography section--send to its own page?

I have to wonder about this giant demography/racial table in the middle of the article. Its humongous, and not terribly useful. What does it mean to say that 90% of population is 'mixed?' Or that only 1% of a population is 'pure' (however they define that) Indian? It's a race chart, plain and simple. Maybe it could get its own WP page and then we could say, see main article "Demography of Current Native American populations." Basically, I think the emphasis on race and numbers is a detraction and a distraction from the far more important aspects of these incredible peoples. --Smilo Don 00:52, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

What's most unuseful about it to me is that it's poorly sourced. I'm not sure about whether it's a good idea to break it out into its own article at the moment -- maybe once the article itself gets larger (right now its 44 kb) -- but otherwise I'm okay with the idea. It needs better sourcing, as I mentioned; but also it would be good if a section or article on demographics included not just current stats (assuming it's even accurate given poor sourcing & recent vandalism), but also a historical dimension, i.e., what were the estimated populations at contact? And over the years? But that takes more research that I'm willing to do in this area, inasmuch as I'm occupied with other projects (both Wiki & not). --Yksin 16:34, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Getting up to standard: the road to Featured

Folks, when I look at this article, I see a piece that lacks coherent structure. If I had my druthers I'd rewrite the whole thing, but the result would be something too "postmodern" for most people's tastes. And so, out of respect to the group and the norms/goals of WP, I'm wondering aloud how best to restructure the article. My first thought is to look to a model--to Featured articles on WP of a similar type. Can anyone suggest some articles we ought to compare this with? --Smilo Don 16:56, 10 September 2007 (UTC) P.S. Please look here: WP:FA --Smilo Don 17:05, 10 September 2007 (UTC) Based on a 4 minute look, I'm thinking of these as examples for us: Azerbaijani people, Iranian peoples, Mandan, Pashtun people, Taiwanese aborigines, and Tamil people. If y'all have thoughts on using any/none of these as a model, please speak up. --Smilo Don 17:12, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Haha, I was about to save when you re-commented with more so here's it: I agree with you, and even though I would love to see it re-written in a co-herent manner, there's always someone who has to disagree with the changes so it's more labourous than just re-writing it. I looked through WP:FA, Mandan, Taiwanese aborigines and Iranian peoples are really nice articles--it's probably more difficult to write an article on a broad range of people instead of the focus you can get on smaller groups of people, but, there are sections and an organizational pattern from these that can be used on here (this page needs the work). And lovely examples to write an introduction that avoids someone's POV and explains the topic thoroughly. Haha, oncamera(t) 17:16, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Points well taken, camera. Yah--I think that certain sections in the above Featured Articles (say, Geography) are not going to be terribly relevant. Early/Mid/Late history then contemporary overview. These would still be good. I mean, ANY group is a bloody fiction ("Tamil", "Pashtun", "Mandan"), but at least some have more geographic/cultural integrity than others. My hard fight to keep the Columbus/invention paragraph has been to highlight that this "group" of people was invented by Columbus: the whole category is a zany, wacky concoction, without scarcely a shred of integrity. Nevertheless, the category has a discursive life in politics, pop culture, and even (sigh) anthropology. My own preference would be to do something rather radical and unprecedented on WP: to write an article which details the Foucauldian genealogy of this discursive construct. That notion is predicted on the fact that "Indians" (or 'Native Americans' or whatever you want to say) did not exist until Columbus. The category itself, in other words, is a direct artifact of 1492. Instead of having an ignorant category which purports to list and classify the peoples as if they really were one group (and reifies/compounds the falsehood) we could actually make something much better. Could be one of the most significant WP pages in existence. --Smilo Don 17:28, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


I think the Aboriginal people from Greenland should be here too. JC 09:05 18 Octuber 2007 (PST)

New DNA study

Information about a new DNA study. Badagnani (talk) 17:29, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

It's Genetic Variation and Population Structure in Native Americans in the Public Library of Science Genetics journal. -R. S. Shaw (talk) 21:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Indigenous Movements in the Americas

Hi there! I'm doing a project on Indigenous Movements in the Americas and I made a small contribution to your page titled the "Rise of Indigenous Movements." I hope it works well with your piece. If you'd like you can check out my page titled "Indigenous Movements in the Americas." Thanks. --Lydia 86 (talk) 17:19, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Looks good, Lydia. Could you provide the sources where you learned this info? It would really help the article and ensure that others will respect what you added. SamEV (talk) 23:58, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


I thought the word "people" was already a plural of "person". --SpeedKing (talk) 21:21, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

That's true in one of its senses. In another sense, that of a ethnic group, 'people' is singular (and can be made plural with an 's'). An example: "Some say that the Scots are a thrifty people." -R. S. Shaw (talk) 05:40, 19 December 2007 (UTC)