Talk:Native Americans in the United States/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Singular vs plural titles

Wikipedia policy is to use the singular for page titles, counter-intuitive as that sometimes might seem. The other race/ethnicity pages for example, such as Chinese American, use the singular. Any objections to moving this page to Native American?--Nectar T 22:20, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd rather it stays as Native Americans. The singular-use policy might be suitable for articles on inanimate objects, etc, but when ethnic or other groupings of humans are concerned, the plural/collective form seems to be more "natural", and also one which is widely used. Consider for example, Jutes, Anglo-Saxons, Normans, etc. The subject matter of articles in this vein focuses on collective, not individual, characteristics. See also the many articles such as French people (not French person), English people, German people, and so on. And, to recycle an argument made elsewhere, we have articles such as Celtic languages not Celtic language, since to use the singular form would wrongly imply that there is one Celtic language, when there are actually several. Similarly, there is not one Native American people, but many, distinct peoples.--cjllw | TALK 22:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Then by that logic, wouldn't the ideal page name actually be "Native American peoples"? "Native Americans" doesn't imply multiple peoples, it implies multiple persons. -Silence 23:27, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, possibly the most specific (least ambiguous) title would indeed be something like "Native American peoples". However, "Native Americans" would seem to be an acceptable shorthand for "Native American peoples" (or "indigenous peoples of the Americas", even), in the same way that "Anglo-Saxons" is shorthand for "Anglo-Saxon people", "Normans" for "Norman people", &c. As a practical consideration, we won't be able to dispense with "Native Americans" by itself anyway, as there are 100's of links to it (there used to be a whole lot more before the recent efforts to dab Native Americans in the United States & others), and whatever we do future editors will continue to add more links to it. As amply demonstrated by the months of discussion which preceded turning Native Americans into its current dab format, there's no universal agreement on what the term covers (see also Native American name controversy), and I'd be reluctant to start up yet another round of article-renaming discussion. But that's merely my opinion; other might be happier to see it changed again, I'm inclined to leave well enough alone at this point.--cjllw | TALK 00:39, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I have to agree with the OP on this one. That does seem to be the policy. I would also point out that both examples used as counter points are of historic cultural groups that no longer exist as independent peoples separate from there modern national affiliations, unlike many (most?) Native Americans? Colincbn (talk) 15:04, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


While disambiguating, I've noticed a couple of articles referring to Native Americans in Canada or Mexico. Reading through the articles these references appear to be most related to the Native Americans of the United States people. However, as this article only deals with the United States, does a new article need to be created; or, do we simply need to direct these articles to Native Americans of the United States? Comments please. Thaagenson 16:10, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

After reviewing the article Indigenous peoples of the Americas I've found that "Candian Indians" should be pointed to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. I've had no such luck finding a disambiguation for "Mexican Indians" Thaagenson 16:20, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Further review shows that "Canadian Indians" can be further disambiguated to First Nations Thaagenson 16:22, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Frankly, Native Americans of the United States is a misleading title - the tribes were not bounded by the current U.S. boundaries, so the article really covers Native Americans whose territory includes the United States. Ideally, it should be moved to something like Indigenous people of North America, but that would be a logistical nightmare at this point. BD2412 T 16:54, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
The question now is should we direct all Native American links to the united states page when they refer to Native Americans in North America? This would be a quick fix and later if the page is renamed the links could be easilly switched with a bot to the new page. Thaagenson 17:05, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with BD above that further extensive pg moves would be problematic at this point; it was a painful-enough exercise to get to the current state of affairs, as the lengthy discussions above demonstrate. The current situation is still probably not ideal, however.
Even though in certain cases the traditional lands of several indigenous peoples straddle contemporary country borders, I do think that collective articles on a country's indigenous peoples serve a useful purpose, insofar as they can be used to discuss their common experiences with the regulations and attitudes of that country. There are presently such articles for the US, Canada and Brazil, and perhaps one or two others- there is not one for Mexico that I am aware of. So when disambiguating Native Americans, you can use the country-specific one; if there is not a country-specific article, then either one could be created, or else just use Indigenous peoples of the Americas for now. In particular, if the context could refer to indigenous peoples/Native Americans/American Indians in both the US and Canada, one possible solution would be to use both Native Americans in the United States / First Nations.--cjllw | TALK 22:46, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
We had a similar discussion in the War of 1812 Talk page where First Nations/Indians/Natives were quite important and fought on both sides. The quasi-consensus solution (one dissident) was to use North American Indians, which currently redirects to Indigenous peoples of the Americas but could have its own article eventually. That term, although not as extensively used as the others, was seen as the least ambiguous. Luigizanasi 23:49, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

[undent]First Nations does not include Inuit or Metis, as "indigenous peoples" does.....and AFAIK neither does Native American, i.e. include Inuit or Metis (except the latter by way of being "of Native American descent"...provided theyr'e not "of First Nations descent". Speaking a a Canadian, I can tell you that we find the Aemrican way of using "Native American" loosey-goosey for Canadian and Alaskan peoples and sometimes for South American to be a little weird-loking and sounding, and I can guarantee you it's not a term acceptable to Canadian indigenous people, except by way of being polite or just not bothering to "correct" the mistake; in one complicated historical reference, "indigenous" is the only way to make sense, other than (small-n) "native" - at the Battle of Port Gamble in Washington, 1855 I think the fracas involved Haida (now designated First Nation and/or Alaskan Native), Tsimhian (likewise) and Tlingit from Russian territory (now both Native Ameriacn but also First Nation as well); as opposed to their victims around Puget Sound, the various Salish tribes in that area, who go by "Native American"; although their close kin on the Canadian side of the waters/lands there are of course "First Nations" and don't use Native American except by forebearance in what must be complicated wording at various regional inter-tribal least one of the few indigenous contributors consistenly uses "indigenous", which he prefers but which also simplifies the entire equation; although I find Native American contributors to expect, like other Amreicans, that their terminology shoudl be accepted on a global basis; it's not, no matter how persistently people argue for or suggest that it should be....Skookum1 (talk) 01:02, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

List of famous...

Removed from article: "==Notable Indigenous American Descendents=="

This page is only a disambiguation page. This sort of information does not belong here - the most likely location, for it, if verifiable, would be List of Native Americans. Rmhermen 17:14, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

ṣ[[Category:]]what do men and women do (jobs)?° 13:18, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

native american surnames

quick question, forgive my ignorance but did native americans in the united states and canada come to adopt to european sounding names or were these names forced upon them? just a little curious how did native americans today come to have surnames such as "schmidt" and "weiss". 23:17, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

    • RESPONSE**

It came an many forms. Boarding schools played a huge part in changing names. It was another assimilation implementation, along with cutting hair to look more "civilized", dressing in anglo clothing, taking the young away from their homes and more. My grandfather (a child of boarding schools) had a Diné (Navajo) name that was changed to an English name with a German last name. Nuns couldn't pronouce many names so changing it was easier for them. The quote used many times was "Save the Man, Kill the Indian". Here's a link to see a before and after shot of a Diné person. (fyi: He went back to his homeland and continued to live as he did before. With his People on his homeland. )

Well, that didn't happen. Natives are still around (I believe 550+ nations/ tribes) . As well, our cultures and traditions are still with us, with varying degrees in each region. Inter-marriage with non-natives also brought along different last names. Please remember just because our names are not "Indian" doesn't not diminish our identity as People of our respective tribes. But it does remind us of our country's invisible history 23:14, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Nan

Around my part of Canada (BC) "ordinary" looking names are sometimes indigenous in origin, e.g. "Claxton" and "Puntledge"....there's also of course names like Seaweed and Bighorse and the like; though in Seaweed's case it's been "nativized" to "Siwid" quite a bit - but that may also be from the original language and it's "Seaweed" that's the adaptation...Skookum1 (talk) 00:48, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Recent changes.

I don't see the point in the link for "a person from the Americas." I have never, ever, ever seen Native American used to reference a modern person born in the American continents, except perhaps sarcastically. Not in American, not in British, and not in international contexts. Too much risk of confusion. Also, there's no good article to link to. Did someone who meant "person from the Americas" really want to click on North America? The best option would be Americas, I guess, but there is no such article on "American (continent) people" (which is a redirect to Demographics of the US).

Also, even if you disagree on that point, I would propose that you needn't have reverted my other changes. The current version has the evil "is a term," Indigenous peoples of the Americas is now a redirect to Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans in the United States pointlessly appears twice, and Pacific Islanders are not Native Americans practically by definition. I also don't see the problem with indenting to show when one group is part of another group.

Looking in the history, I'm thinking that the older version was considerably better, despite the POV political angle. This is something where a bit of an explanation can help as opposed to the bare links there currently. While MoS:DAB does prefer brevity, SOME explanation is clearly useful here. SnowFire 20:34, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Nativists do refer to Native American in that different sense, hence the entry. Also Native Hawaiians and most Alaska Native are not included in the conventional definition of Native American as discussed in the Native American in the United States article - so indentation is incorrect. Pacific Islanders are included in the term in a rarely used inclusive definition, hence the inclusion here. Rmhermen 00:27, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Changes to this page

I've changed this page to make it conform to standard disambiguation pages. A disambiguation page is not the place for a discussion of the reasons behind varying definitions for terms. All of the articles referenced describe specific points of view that are not shared by all of the world's English speakers. Most English speakers have no familiarity with the various political squabbles that have led to so many different definitions of the same term. An English speaker visiting this page does not necessarily have any existing ideas of what "native Americans" should mean (beyond its literal meaning), and thus the best one can do is direct him to other articles that discuss different (and often conflicting or overlapping) meanings used for the term by some groups in some contexts.

Describing indigenous people as "natives," for example, means virtually nothing to someone who is only familiar with the Englishd definitions of these terms, as they are practically synonyms. Anyone interested in the exact definition can visit the article. The other explanations formerly accompanying each article entry have the same problem: they all assume still other non-standard definitions for various words, and thus tell the reader nothing about what the article actually describes. The only way to find out what the article describes is to read it. When you have a term that has almost as many politically expedient definitions as it has letters, it is not practical to try to define any of these definitions on a disambiguation page, since you cannot do so without using other words that typically also have non-standard definitions of their own.

By simplifying this page to the maximum possible, I've restored NPOV (nothing on the page favors any particular group) and I've eliminated possible confusion (anyone who wants more detail on a specific definition can refer directly to the respective article). For the same reason, I've put the entries in alphabetical order, eliminating any other possible bias. Agateller 07:50, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Formatting of disambiguation pages

Just so nobody adds paragraphs and other non-standard formatting to this page again, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages). Spylab 03:59, 21 February 2007 (UTC) i love me!


I think we should take out this line, "It may also refer to the Native Americans of Siberia, the nativos indígenas", because it seems iffy. Indigenous Siberians are referred to in Spanish? Also, this is a dab page, and that line contains no link.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 15:16, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I took it out, mostly because we don't seem to have an article on them, but also because I don't think people who are not from the Americas are ever called "Native Americans". There are people who are related to indigenous Americans in Siberia, but no one will type in "Native Americans" looking for them. And obviously Siberians wouldn't refer to themselves in Spanish.--Cúchullain t/c 15:42, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Primary use

It seems clear, judging by common usage, incoming links, etc. that the primary use for the term "Native Americans" is Indigenous peoples of the Americas. I don't see any way around this. If someone disagrees, please speak up, and preferably, fix the many, many incoming links that ought to redirect to Indigenous peoples of the Americas.--Cúchullain t/c 06:58, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. I do not come by this page via wikilinks; I come by it via the search box. I would propose that many drive-bys who search WP would search by typing "Native Americans" in the search box. This page is extremely helpful in directing me to the proper page. When I was redirected to the other article, I was lost and had to scan the whole article and guess at which link was most suitable. I see more harm than good done to the encyclopedia, navigation-wise, with this page as a automatic redirect.--Old Hoss 16:37, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
What were you looking for by typing in "Native Americans"? This isn't supposed to be a directory of groups, it's meant to disambiguate uses of the term "Native Americans", and most people who type in or click a link for Native Americans will be looking for Indigenous peoples of the Americas (if not Native Americans in the United States, since that term is largelly restricted to the US; other countries have other terms.)
But assuming it is kept where it is, the page is badly formated and includes much wrong material. Technically speaking, Brazilian Indians are not called "Native Americans" (definitely not by other Brazilians), that term is mostly restricted to native peoples in the United States. These links need to be weeded out. Additionally, the many, many incoming links will need to be fixed so they're not going to a disambig page, hopefully those who want the page to stay here will step up and correct that.--Cúchullain t/c 20:07, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Personally, as I was driving-by, I was expecting Native Americans in the United States, but then I noticed there were several other possibilities I did not consider. I would probably never actually type in the whole article name as it is quite cumbersome, so I would prefer this as a disambig. page, from a navigation point of view. You stated above this term is largely restricted to America, where I reside, so it would then follow that Native Americans in the United States would be a preferable redirect than Indigenous peoples of the Americas, however that page is also of interest. So I would reason that a disambig. page is proper and the reader can decide what they were looking for. As far as what links belong on the page, I cannot say as I am not an expert on this topic. Use your best judgment in weeding out the improper links and I am sure that will be satisfactory - if it is not, then an editor can just re-add them, NBD. As far as re-directs, there are only 62 in the (main) namespace, and it looks like about 90-95% of those are American-related, so I see little harm there. Regards.--Old Hoss 18:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it should remain a disambig. Most of the pages I see linking here are better linked to Native Americans in the United States, but some (fewer) to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Further the information on this page is correct. We really do call Brazilian Indians "Native Americans" as the term for many of us (U.S. citizens) means natives of the Americas not natives of the area now called the United States of America. The others mentioned are also defined as Native Americans in some U.S. laws although the don't fit the normal definition of the term. Rmhermen 18:51, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Native Meaning : A Man who hunts,swims,catch and fish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:51, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

The Northeast also ate Chest Nuts,Strarberries,Wild Rice,Fish,and Turkey. Italic text —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 26 October 2009 (UTC)


I've removed the following. In each case, I don't believe any English-speaker uses "Native Americans" to refer to the precise designated group (although people may use "Native Americans" to refer to a broader group which includes the precise group).

jnestorius(talk) 10:29, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I was the one Wikipedian who wrote an article on Cherokee Identity removed by a now-banned Wikipedian, who claimed to be a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and was uncorporative with admins. Cherokees seem to have a large mark and a more intense historical record out of 560-some known federally recognized American Indian tribal nations. It was stated there was no real need to describe Cherokees as an ethnic group or nationality, a rarity for any Native American or North American Indian people in the USA and Canada, except for the Inuit in Greenland, Nunavut territory in Canada and in Alaska with the Aleut.

I'm completely aware on there are many indigenous peoples and tribal nations of large populous size in 21st century USA: the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Pai-Ute, Apache & Comanche of the southwest and south plains; the Colville, Couer D' Alene, Shoshone, Modoc, Lummi & Salish of the west and northwest; the Iroquois, Pequot, Lenape, Tuscarora, Miami & Shawnee of the east and northeast; the Arapahoe, Cree, Objiwa, Chippewa, Lakota & Osage of the north plains, and finally the Caddo, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek & Seminole of the south and southeast - where the Cherokees originated. That makes 30 out of 560 tribal nations in the NA category. Mike D 26 (talk) 10:11, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

of the 1850

This is unidiomatic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

American Indians in the United States

I have a question for the proponents of an American Indians in the United States article. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that article's proposed scope as limited to indigenous peoples in what is now the continental United States. Because Category:Native American and most of its sub-categories have also been limited to this scope, is the replacement of "Native American" with "American Indian" in the titles of those categories in order (for example, Category:Native American history to Category:American Indian history or Category:American Indian history in the United States or Category:History of American Indians in the United States)? The titles of other categories after renaming could include Category:Culture of American Indians in the United States, Category:Mythology of American Indians in the United States, and Category:Tribes of American Indians in the United States, among others.

I ask because it's not clear to me if an American Indians in the United States article necessitates that the words "United States" be in the titles of all categories that will need renaming. Omitting these words may again result in ambiguity, if the scope of the term "American Indian" to some extends outside of the borders of the United States. Kurieeto 17:35, August 14, 2005 (UTC)

Other than for sake of consistency (which I, for one, don't see as very important), these seem like entirely separate questions to me. A solution to one doesn't necessitate anything for the others. Moving Category:Native Americans to Category:American Indians in the United States might be nice, but, on other hand, moving a category is harder than moving an article, so maybe it isn't worth the effort right now. Also, is brevity more of a concern with regard to category titles? In any event, I'm not sure that Category:Native Americans has exactly the same scope as American Indians in the United States. Shouldn't the former also include Eskimos, Aleuts, and Hawaiians? - Nat Krause 16:18, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
My understanding is that the term "Native American" does not apply to Native Hawaiians because Hawaii is not part of the Americas, and that the term may or may not apply to Alaska Natives such as the Aleut. My question had to do with consistency and precision. I agree that it may be best to address category issues later and focus on just this article for now. Kurieeto 23:08, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
To restrict the category to the U.S. is unacceptable. Native American does not have that restrictive meaning in the U.S. It is just as wrong as a category on "Gas stations of the United Kingdom". Rmhermen 18:10, August 25, 2005 (UTC)
Well, outside of the United States the term "Native American" doesn't have the inclusive meaning. The category Category:Native Americans cannot be used to cover people who themselves reject being so classified, such as Canadian First Nations; mainstream US usage most certainly does not trump a cultural group's right to decide for itself what labels are appropriate. Bearcat 23:34, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Bearcat that the terms "Native American" or "American Indian" are restrictive, innacurate and insulting. A term that could be used for all is Aboriginal people. This include all First Nations of the Americas whatever their tribe, band or subcategorization. The term is all inclusive and not offensive unlike other tems that include colonialist terms like "Indian". --Trixster 16:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

No, "aboriginal people" could not be used as that term in itself gives no geographical restriction. Many would take it to mean Australian Aborigines, etc. Rmhermen 16:24, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

In Spanish-speaking countries. saying "Indian" is considered, at best ignorant and at worst racist.

Atomsprengja 19:48, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Figures of Amerindians in Argentina

The article stated that 10% of Argentine population belong to aboriginal peoples. That figure has no grounds at all. It is probable a misinterpretation from the author, based on a genetic study that showed that 56% of Argentine population had at least one aboriginal ancestor. Of those, 10% had aboriginal ancestors by both paternal and maternal lines, which would make a rough maximum of 5.6% of the population, or about 2 million persons. On the other hand, census bureau statistics of 2001 show that 2.8% of Argentine households host at least one person that claims to belong to, or to descend from, the indigenous population. INDEC, the official statistics agency together with INAI (the National Institute of Indeigenous Affairs), has been conducting exhaustive research since 2001 to refine those figures and to establish the number of self-recognized members of each ethnic group. As of 08/17/2005, figures on the followng ethnic groups were available:

  • Toba (provinces of Chaco, Formosa and Santa Fe): 47,951
  • Wichí (provinces of Chaco, Fromosa and Salta): 36,135
  • Mocoví (provinces of Chaco and Santa Fe): 12,145
  • Pilagá (province of Formosa): 3,948
  • Chulupí (provinces of Formosa and Salta): 440
  • Diaguita Calchaquí (provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán): 13,773
  • Kolla (provinces of Jujuy and Salta): 53,019
  • Guaraní (Tupí Guaraní and Avá Guaraní -- provinces of Jujuy and Salta): 23,002
  • Mbyá Guaraní (province of Misiones): 4,083
  • Chorote (province of Salta): 2,147
  • Chané (province of Salta): 2,097
  • Tapieté (province of Salta): 484

Cinabrium 23:25, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

I went ahead and listed Toba (tribe) based on the data above and some other details I got from the Web. Anyone else care to continue the work? -Harmil 10:22, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

American Indians is a less offensive term than Native American

I am 50% Comanche, 25% Choctaw and 25% German. It bothers me to watch non-Indians debate what is the correct term to call our people. Truth be known, there is no term that can group people of different cultures together. We prefer to be call Comanche or Choctaw or whatever tribe we may be. If someone must group us together, the term American Indian is most appropriate. If you call us "Native Americans," you are attempting to erase the great journey from our history. The white man has taken our culture and our languages away from many of us. Now he attempts to erase our history. It is simply wrong! GOP904

except of course it's not primarily about offense, it's about accuracy. If Native Amerinds are known as American Indians, how do you distinguish them from Indian immigrants to the Americas? -- 21:55, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
As related in the article, immigrants from India to the U.S. are called Indian Americans. I don't believe anyone has cited a source which claims that people in the U.S. have any problems with the distinction between "American Indian" and "Indian American". --Kevin Myers 23:08, September 6, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the article, I'm talking about myself - I personally find a switch between adjective and noun not nearly sufficient to distinguish these two completely different groups properly. I actually prefer "Amerind", but "Native American" is far less confusing a term than "American Indian". Of course ideally there would be no such discussion, and each group of indigenous peoples would be referred to by their own native name (the most accurate method); but western scholarship seems to like these big categorization schemes... *shrugs* -- 00:01, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Native American is not only an offensive term to most American Indians, it is an inaccurate term. It has been well documented that American Indians crossed Beringia from Asia. How does this make us "native"? The term was created not to be sensitive to Indians, but to help white folk to forget the images of us being "savages". Which is another reason why it is offensive to American Indians!
As for American Indian Vs Indian American, that's just ridiculous! You don't hear English Americans or French Americans or better yet European Americans. However, we do hear African Americans, which does not apply to all people of Africa - only to sub-Saharan Africans - and Asian Americans which only applies to eastern Asians and not western Asians. We are taking political correctness (which is not even the case) to an extreme. GOP904
Yes, you're right, Native Americans are not originally from the Americas - but then your same logic of migrations defining true original homelands means that everyone is African... The term native here is used to mean original indigenous peoples, people who went there first and have been there for 10,000+ years. And although I completely refute your idea that "native american" was coined out of "political correctness" (notice how people only ever use that term when they're using it as an insult?) why is not being considered savages offensive? And of course, Indian American is ridiculous. As is American Indian. Let's just ignore the whole "American" thing, infact. You call yourself an Indian, no? Then you should recognize that if you identified yourself as that in any part of the world other than the Americas, you would be assumed to be a native of the Indian subcontinent, not North America. Messing around by moving the word "american" into the label would only serve to confuse, not elucidate. This is the primary purpose of neutral terms such as "Native American" or "Amerind". -- 13:49, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Finalizing the US version

Initial proposal

I'd like to start finalizing the US edits to this article now that we have other articles that cover the appropriate topics. Here's a proposal for the intro. I'll start work on doing roughly the same for the rest of the article unless someone feels that I'm really removing some important content, sometime in the next day or so.

This article refers to the pre-Columbian peoples of the continental United States and their descendants. For other uses and related groups, see Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Native Americans are those peoples indigenous to the United States prior to European colonization, and their descendants in modern times. This term encompasses a large number of distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of them still enduring as political communities. A comprehensive tribal list can be found under "Classification of Native Americans."

The terms "Indian", "American Indian", "Amerindian", and "Amerind" are also used. For more information, see Native American name controversy.

Other indigenous peoples that are native to territorial possessions of the United States, but are not specifically called "Native American" are a diversity of Pacific Islanders including: Native Hawaiians, natives of American Samoa, and Alaska Natives who are more closely related to the aboriginal peoples in Canada than they are to Native Americans of the contiguous 48 states.

Notice that we lead with disambiguation. I know that as Western Hemisphereites, we have a blind spot around this terminology, but let's not forget that Wikipedia deals with ambiguity all the time, and does so quite well. That said, it is equally important to point out the Native American name controversy, which happens in the second body paragraph. This allows us to remove all of the text that is now redundant with that article. The rest is relatively minor editing to simply par out the non-US bits.

Thoughts? -Harmil 02:52, 7 September 2005 (UTC)


Thanks Harmil, I'm broadly supportive of your approach. I'd prefer "indigenous peoples" rather than "Pre-Columbian peoples" in the opening line, the latter has time-specific usages as well. Also, might still need a line or two to the effect: "in some usages of the term, 'Native Americans' also includes indigenous peoples of the Americas beyond US continental borders; in this article the more restrictive use is employed. See Indigenous peoples of the Americas for general discussion on all American indigenous peoples". And where you discuss peoples in wider US territory, perhaps add a link along the lines of "See Indigenous peoples in the United States for general discussion on those within non-continental US territories as well."--cjllw | TALK 04:10, 2005 September 7 (UTC)
As far as "Pre-Columbian" goes, I could see adding "descendants of", but the idea here is to avoid dipping into the name controversy by being super-explicit until we get to the paragraph that introduces the controversy and the article that explores it in depth. If we used an ambiguous term like "Indigenous peoples" in the disambiguation blurb, that would seem to require disambiguating the disambiguation, and that would get messy.
The use of the term outside of the U.S. is also broadly covered by the disambiguation link (why would we have disambiguation for a non-ambiguous term?) and the discussion of the controversy. We could add in more disclaimers, but ultimately, we'll be right back where we started with several paragraphs of duplicated text from Native American name controversy. As far as, for example, Alaska Natives, I think the right thing to do is to link to the most specific entry possible, rather than duplicating a link to an article we already link to above. Now, I would certainly agree that those specific articles should make mention of the wider categories into which they fit (both via actual categorization and by referencing specific articles that cover wider, related topics).
I guess what I'm saying is that I think all of your concerns are already addressed, and I'm wondering how you think adding duplicate links will aid the reader. I'm applying the principle of least astonishment here, addressing these user expectations:
  • Looking for native people of the U.S. - The article deals with this topic in depth.
  • Looking for native people of some other country or region - Disambiguation leads the article.
  • Looking for explanaition of the name, "Native American"" - Second paragraph deals with this topic and introduces the in-depth article that covers it.
Other than that, do we have expectations that we wish to address? -Harmil 15:02, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

"Native Americans are those peoples indigenous to the United States prior to European colonization, and their descendants in modern times."

This is completely and entirely wrong. We have dealt with this several times on this talk page. Native Americans does not only those living within current U.S. continental borders. It is not up to Wikipedia to make definitions that it finds convenient. Rmhermen 18:25, September 8, 2005 (UTC)

Rmhermen, first off, let's not be argumentative here. I've been taking part in this conversation for a while now, and I'm well aware of those concerns. If you re-read the previous discussions and my points above, you will see that:
  1. I'm not interested in making definitions that I find convenient
  2. We're talking about splitting topics up into several articles, most of which work has already been done (this article is the hold-out).
  3. No one here is saying that the only people who use the term are in the U.S. What I'm saying (and I think we've established this clearly) is that it is most commonly used in the U.S.
  4. Given the above, it Wikipedia policy holds that one of the acceptable ways to disambiguate is to make this article refer to the most common usage and lead it off with a disambiguation blurb. I'm not at all against creating a Native Americans (disambiguation) if you feel that that would be appropriate, though.
Please, take some time and review whta I've been proposing here. I hope that you'll see that you and I agree far more than we disagree. -Harmil 18:37, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
You have missed my point. I am not saying that Americans are the only ones who use the term. What I am saying is that the primary meaning of the term used by the largest group of people is not "aboriginals living in the borders of the United States". The most common meaning is "aboriginals of the North and South American continents who are not Inuits". Native American is a word developed to substitute for Indian, not as a substitute for Indians living in America, just like American Indian never meant only those living in the U.S.Rmhermen 18:50, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
I beg to differ. To quote the United States government,
The term, 'Native American,' came into usage in the 1960s to denote the groups served by the Bureau of Indian Affairs: American Indians and Alaska Native (Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts of Alaska). Later the term also included Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in some Federal programs. -Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, from the Bureau of Indian Affairs [1]
Given that this usage appears to be quite clear, and is supported by a fairly authoritative source, can we move the discussion back to the reader's expectations and the way in which we do or do not meet them? -Harmil 20:33, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
Hi. I havent been keeping up with this, but these issues can resolved by adding US to the name of the article.
I also think that Native American is most commonly used to refer to people throughout the Americas. The BIA information is written from a US agency point of view (i.e. they have no reason to be concerned about anything outside of the US). There are university degrees named Native American studies and other encyclopedia articles named Native American, Native Americans of Middle and South America, etc. where the scope of research is not confined to the borders of the US.
Is there a reason why the country name cannot be added to the article if the scope of the article is to be confined to that country? I see that people have spent time writing about this: This is good & conscientious, but perhaps I would urge a quicker resolution so that the thinkers involved may have more time to spend on authoring content about the many, many peoples who are not represented in Wikipedia (and possibly not even on the entire Internet). (this is my opinion anyway.) – ishwar  (speak) 21:16, 2005 September 8 (UTC)

Hi there, User:Ish_ishwar, there are a number of concerns I have around that:
  • The BIA isn't saying "we modified this old word," they're saying that this phrase was coined by them specifically to avoid using what they saw as a pejorative term at the time.
  • I have seen quite a few sources (the majority in my estimation) which either do not provide enough context to tell or explicitly use Native American to refer to those in the US, not the Americas in genreal. I have never seen the term used in reference to Canada, and only in relation to Mexico when not refering to the Maya. In terms of Central and South America, I mostly see Spanish or Portugese used, and the mix of English words used is both statistically insignificant and evenly distributed across several terms.
  • If we move this article to U.S. Native Americans, we will be explicitly introducing yet another term into the mix which is not required.
When Wikipedia runs into ambiguity, the resolution process is both simple and well documented. You slap a disambiguation blurb at the top, and describe in the body of the article if there is further information required. The edit that I list above does both. How is this sufficient for the rest of Wikipedia, and not here? -Harmil 21:34, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
I read Ishwar's suggestion as advocating Native Americans (U.S.), not U.S. Native Americans. If that's the case, I think it has a lot of merit: it follows existing disambiguation practice (eg, Georgia (country) and Georgia (U.S. state), and it gives us maneuvering space for creating Native Americans (Americas) and any others that we feel like (Native Americans (Honduras), etc, etc). The Native Americans location could offer a brief disambigging introduction and a list of those subarticles, which is no bad thing in light of the many (hundreds? 1000+?) articles about non-US indigenous peoples that already link here. Hajor 21:52, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
First, I would like to say that Harmil is doing a great job on the US "Western Hemispherite" (to use Harmil's coinage) :-) article (and the Native American name controversy as well). I think the remaining issue is what the name of the US Native article should be. I agree that the principle of leaast astonishment should be used, the question is how to apply it. I would like to make a couple of observations and a proposal.
1. The dispute seems to be mainly between Canadian and US editors. To Canadians, the term "American Indian" and "Native American" is understood to refer to "Western hemispherites" from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, while to people in the United States, it seems to refer only to those in their country. The terms Indian and Native are extensively used in Canada. For an example, see Statistics Canada's report on the ethincity of Canadians here [2]. Note the use of "North American Indian", and lower down on the table under "Latin, Central and South American origins" where we have "Central/South American Indian". Also See the Atlas of Canada and, for the use of "Native" a web site done mainly by Aboriginal organizations under the aegis of the Canadian government. Aboriginal Canada Portal.
2. I believe we all agree on the need for disambiguation. However, there are two ways of doing this. One is the way Harmil suggested with a dab notice at the top of each article, the other is to create a separate dab page that points to the relevant articles. (I personally am in favour of the second).
3. I don't think we will resolve this here. I would like to propose putting up a Request for Comments, and ask non-North Americans what titles for the different articles would create the least astonishment for them.
Luigizanasi 22:39, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
*blush* thanks, Luigizanasi. I'm not fond of RfCs because I think it tends to bring in more people willing to make half-baked moves and edits than it brings in considered discussion. If we do do that, I suggest archiving some of this page first, since it will balloon when you do.
In terms of the previous suggestions, if someone is signing up to do the disambiguation link-checking (e.g. make sure that the US-only links point to the new location), then I would support their performing the move to such a name, otherwise I think it would be disruptive to what is already a deeply snarled web of links. Keep in mind that this is a massive amount of work, and if you think that most of the links won't have to change, I suggest that you're kidding yourself. There are less than 1000 (but not by much) links to this page, and over 250 of them are through American Indian and well over 400 are through Native American. Most of the links appear to be US-related to me, but I might just be looking at the wrong ones. All of the U.S. states that link here, of course. Then there's the various US Govt agencies, presidents and other political figures, TV shows, etc. Brace yourself, breathe deeply and be bold.... -Harmil 23:01, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
Re BIA: The term existed before the creation of the BIA. The BIA may redefine terms to suit their governmental needs. I dont think the adoption of the term into their documents preceded general usage (which I would guess was initiated by academics and the like). At any rate, the BIA doesnt talk about anyone in Canada, Peru, and elsewhere.
Re new term & title suggestions: I dont think that any new term is introduced. I mean the term Native American. I dont understand. What the exact name of the article is I leave to the article-namers. It could be among others: Native Americans in the US, Native Americans in the United States of America, US Native Americans, Native Americans (USA), Native Americans (U.S.), etc. I am suggesting that the country be added to the name. This is similar to the addition of country/region to articles such as, Category:Indigenous peoples of South America, Aboriginal peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples in Brazil, etc. If this is added to the title, then the scope can be identified much faster & there is somewhat less of a need to disambiguate (as the title will be relatively unambiguous).
Re outside US usage: Ok, but I have seen the term used for peoples in Canada, and Mexico (including Maya), and in South America. I havent really seem much of this US-only usage. I havent done any statistical analysis of Spanish & Portuguese terms; however, I wonder if you are speaking of material written in Spanish & Portuguese, which is definitely the languages that most material is written in (if so, this doesnt really apply to material in English).
Precisely because of the different usages experienced by Harmil, Rmhermen, me, & others, we have different expectations of the term. Harmil suggests that a certain usage be adopted to the exclusion of the other. I suggest that we simply not choose. If we have a title such as Native Americans in the US, then the term can have either of its definitions & still make sense.
another thing: what objections are there to American Indians in the US, etc.? Additionally, derivatives of the term Indian are very common in other languages (if we are concerned with non-US & non-native English speaker readers).
Re work: The large amount of work is not important to me. Improvement over inconvenience. I understand that there are bot things that do a lot of this. peace – ishwar  (speak) 23:15, 2005 September 8 (UTC)

Some assertions about what I want (that I don't agree with, so they're clearly not what I want) are being made. Let me (while trying to assume good faith, and not take this personally) clarify:

  • I don't want to exclude any terminology at all. I want to disambiguate.
  • I think that this article is a nightmare to read as is, and would like to fix that, not for my benefit, but for the users of WP.
  • I am fine with the proposal of a move to a disambig name (e.g. "Native American (U.S.)"), as long as the mover will take responsibility for fixing the hundreds of links that will need it.

Thanks -Harmil 00:15, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

I think it's generally a good idea to avoid ambiguous titles where possible, at least when there is no one meaning that is clearly predominant, even though you can provide a disambiguator at the top of the article. Therefore, I think would be much better to have the article at XYZ in the United States (incidentally, I am from the U.S. myself). And yes, I will volunteer to spearhead the rectification of links.
Also, for reasons discussed above, I think "American Indians" is preferable to "Native Americans". This goes along with disambiguation, though, because "American Indians" is probably more likely to imply the people of the Americas in general.
Thirdly, I still think it's preferable to have the edit history of this page at Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. - Nat Krause 09:06, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Nat, I mostly agree with your points above- as someone not from the Americas, I more often encounter "American Indians" as restricted to refer to North America/US (and contrasted with "South American Indians", "Central American Indians", etc); "Native Americans" on its own is ambiguous and could equally be employed for either scope, so the formulation "XYZ in the United States" is better, whether XYZ= Indigenous peoples/Native Americans/American Indians I don't really mind (actually, I've a slight preference for the first). One thing tho'- I think it would be better to have the page edit and talk history kept with this article: most of the talk has been on just this topic, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas is already beginning to accumulate its own edit history.--cjllw | TALK 09:24, 2005 September 9 (UTC)
Well, I'm all for leaving the talk page with the U.S. article (it's easy to dissever a talk page from its article). If indigenous peoples of the Americas is accumulating its own edit history, that's a sign that we're moving too slowly here. Still, I believe that an admin can merge the edit histories if that's the conclusion we reach. - Nat Krause 10:20, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Nat Krause, I think the horse has left the barn when it comes to Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. That page already has its own edit history, which should now be preserved. Let's just focus on leaving this article in the role of detail article for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to link to, as that is really what is needed. The non-U.S. work has already been done on other pages including Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, Aboriginal peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples in Brazil, etc. As far as "Native American" vs. "American Indian", I look to common usage to determine which one should be the page name and which the redirect, and Google is a nice handy source: Native American 111 million, American Indian 120 million... so my personal preference for Native American aside, it looks like "American Indian (U.S.)" would make sense. Nat, you're really sure you want to take on about 1000 edits to fix the links (since a page move essentially means that every link will have to move to the new page or to Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as appropriate. Linking to a disambiguation page is frowned on, so that's probably not the right way to go. -Harmil 12:16, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, Indigenous Peoples of the Americas currently has 13 edits to it, which is not that many. As I noted above, I don't think the situation cannot be fixed. Anyway, I have a gut-level dislike of going along with something just because it's a fait accompli.
And yes, I'll take responsibility for 1000 or so edits (actually, somewhat fewer than that) to fix the current situation, although it might not happen overnight. I'll probably try to enlist the help of a bot, so, in that case, most of the work might well happen overnight. - Nat Krause 08:41, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to float the following proposal:

  1. Move this article to Native American (U.S.) and remove the sections of it that aren't germane to that title.
  2. Move Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to Native American (Americas); update it with the sections removed from this article. Shrug and smile about the lost edit history from when this article covered both.
  3. Expand Native American (a newly created redirect) to provide a brief introduction to the naming issue, linking both those articles (and any others that are relevant) as well as Native American name controversy.
  4. Either article could be subsequently moved to another location following discussion on the pertinent talk page, but the redirects (particularly from the Native American dab page) would remain in place.

Advantages: Both sides in the controversy get to keep the name "Native American" in their article titles. Wikipedia takes no stance on whether "Native American" refers solely to those of the U.S. or to those of the entire (super)continent. Both sides get a short target to link to (having to write [[Indigenous Peoples of the Americas|Native American]] is tiresome). I'll shoulder some of the disambiguation work, along with those other editors who've already volunteered. What say you? Hajor 09:24, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

The problem with this proposal is that in the U.S. "Native American" and "American Indian" are roughly neck-and-neck with "American Indian" having a slight lead, so either name is really fine for the U.S. entry. However, in the rest of the Americas this is simply not the case. "Indigenous Peoples of the Americas" is useful for North and South America because of the term "Indigenas" [3] which is commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries. "Native American" is sometimes used (as others have cited), but it is in the vast minority, so making it the name of the high-level topic article is just misleading.
Also, expanding a newly created "Native American" page to cover the naming issues duplicates the work of Native American name controversy, which is why others have suggested making "Native American" a disambiguation page which cites "Native American name controversy", "Indigenous Peoples of the Americas", and "Native American (U.S.)".
So, to boil all of that down to a compromise and something counter-proposalish, I think I'm suggesting:
I think that covers everything you suggested, and doesn't impose minority terminology on the non-U.S., non-Canadian Americas. Thoughts? -Harmil 16:24, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that there's really a controversy here that needs to be settled. Everybody mostly agrees on the major points, I'd say, but we are being delayed by trying to get the details right. Here are my comments: a) personally, I prefer to merge "Native American name controversy" into an article at Native American about the phrase, but this isn't a very important point that should delay us. b) failing that, Native American should definitely be a disambig, just as Harmil suggests. c) I have oft stated my preference that this page and its history be moved to indigenous peoples of the Americas, but, since nobody else here seems to care about that, I'll drop the objection. It's not a big deal either way. Therefore, we can just move this current Native Americans page to its U.S.-specific location. d) I think we should favor disambiguated pages without parentheses to those with, where possible. This is why I suggest American Indians in the United States rather than simply Native Americans (U.S.). We should have, and I've already created a redirect from Native Americans (U.S.) which can be used by people who are lazy for typing out the full title. - Nat Krause 05:08, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
By "I don't think that there's really a controversy here that needs to be settled," do you mean to endorse either Hajor's proposal or my modified version? I'm not sure how to respond to the rest of what you said, given the first part, since you then go on to object to every point of both of our proposals. If you're proposing a third option, could you please re-state it as such so that we can all choose between the three? Thanks. Don't get me wrong though, I sense your sincerity in wanting to get this done. I'm just trying to achieve consensus here, pretty much without regard to which consensus. I do not want to continue debating this for another two weeks, though, so pardon me if that comes off as terse. It's not personal at all. -Harmil 13:15, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't find myself objecting violently to any of what Harmil proposes. The principles we're in agreement on: Native American as a dab page; content split between two articles. We still have to hammer out a few final details (basically article locations, but with the principles established, they're easier to tackle on a one-by-one basis. Couple of comments, though:

Re Nat Krause, if forced to choose and consensus is against the article titles with parentheses, I'd prefer Native Americans in the United States over American Indians in the United States. I freely admit, however, that I'm an outsider on the question and my opinions are probably colored by my reactions to Spanish indio. Deep down I also agree that it's unfortunate to lose the edit history of this page for the continent-wide article, but I also suspect that over time, the majority of the edits have been USA-related rather than Americas-related: win some, lose some. (Developer question: can't articles, with their entire histories, be copied?)

For me, though, both these are shrug territory. I have more of a problem with merging "naming controversy" into the dab page is the right way to go: would overload it terribly. A short paragraph on the dab page and a link should suffice.

Re Harmil, if Indigenous Peoples of the Americas stays where it is (shrug), I'd still like to create Native American (Americas) for ease of linking. However, re preferring "indigenous peoples" over "Native Americans" for the rest of the continent: the big advantage that Spanish and Portuguese have is that indígena can be used as either an adjective or a noun; in English, were hamstrung by the eyebrow-raising noun "indigene" and limited to the adjectival form only. Using "indigenous peoples" leads to clumsy wording, which a lot of the time sounds to me like eggshell-stepping political correctness. No real objections to its use as an article title, though.

Re "Native American" being "in the vast minority" as applied to the natives of the entire continent: Googling (with all necessary caveats) for "native-american" plus the name of your favorite Latin American country yields hits in the hundreds of thousands (1.9m for Brazil; 1.3m for Peru). Even allowing for a possible 50% of false positives (Chile, Mexico, and Colombia in particular are not good examples to use), the hits still number... well, in the hundreds of thousands. And normally, on the first page of results, you can see good hits from places like Encarta, the Britannica, the BBC. If you then repeat the experiment with "indigenous-people" instead of "native-american", the numbers are consistently lower. OK, much of that may be due to language registers -- popular vs. academic (indigenous gets a lot of .edu hits) -- but it still deserves a moment's consideration. (Got a moment?)

Enough. Any other voices to be heard? Hajor 14:11, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

IMO we've enough consensus to proceed without further delay:
Once the above is effected it should then be simpler to determine what to do with Category:Native American and Category:Native Americans.--cjllw | TALK 03:09, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

I suppose I oughtn't to have said there's no controversy; what I meant is that there is no intractable conflict or hard feelings, etc., as one often sees in Wikipedia controversies. As for which proposal I support, let's look at the salient similarities and differences:

1) Hajor and Harmil suggest moving this page to Native Americans (U.S.. I agree with moving it, but I prefer American Indians in the United States. I'll accept whatever has consensus, though. 2) Hajor suggests a new article at Native American, but Harmil suggests redirecting it to Native American (disambiguation), which will be, of course, a dab page. I prefer Hajor's suggestion, but I'm comfortable with either if it has consensus. If there is to be a disambiguation, it should be just as Mr. Harmil describes it. I don't see the point of redirecting XYZ to XYZ (disambiguation), though. 3) Hajor suggests moving Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to Native Americans (Americas), but Harmil opposes it. I agree with Harmil (to be fair, Hajor does support possible discussions on that page's talk regarding re-moving it).

I think my suggestions are basically quite consistent with C.J.L.L. Wright's ideas (although I think that American Indians should redirect to indigenous peoples of the Americas rather than to American Indians in the United States.

I was going to suggest that we wait to conclude this discussion until User:Kurieeto returns, as he was active in beginning it; however, looking at his user page and edit history, it's unclear if that will happen soon, so we might as well proceed.

Incidentally, I don't think the term "Indian" carries the same offensive quality in English that it perhaps does in Spanish; if I recall correctly, "Indio" can sometimes be used as an insult, whereas I don't recall ever hearing "Indian" by itself used that way. - Nat Krause 23:16, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for thinking of me User:Nat Krause, I wanted to say that you all have done a great job of discussing and developing consensus regarding this issue. I support cjllw's proposal as immediately above, with the following minor preference: As per Sunray's comment below, "The distinction between Indian-American and American Indian will elude most non-Americans.", I would prefer the choice of "Native Americans in the United States" over "American Indians in the United States". Kurieeto 11:15, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
I would agree with all of what User:Nat Krause just said, with one exception: American Indian and Native American (and their respective plurals) should all land you in the same place (and incidentally, so should Native American Indian and its plural). That is to say, if any one of those becomes a dab, then all of them should redirect to it. I still don't like American Indians in the United States, but if my reasons to date have not persuaded others, then they are insufficient, and should be ignored. -Harmil 00:16, 15 September 2005 (UTC)


You folks are making good progress with this debate and I would now like to jump in with a couple of observations. As has been pointed out, the terms "Native American" and "American Indian" are fairly exclusive to the United States. So we need to settle on one term for the article that refers to Indigenous peoples of the United States of America (with a redirect from the other).
I disagree that "American Indian" is the most commonly used. You cannot simply enter the term into Google and expect that the 100K plus results refer to the actual term. Google will give results if the two words appear in proximity despite that fact that they may not be used as the actual term. To get a more accurate count, you can use a tool such as Geoff's Google Duel , which gives actual uses of the term. You will find that "Native American" is the term most used by a fair margin (Native American = 2,940,000; American Indian = 1,850,000).
That is a relief to me (as a non-American), because although I like neither of the terms ("First Nations" being far and away a more accurate term, IMO), of the two "American Indian" would be the poorer choice. As several people have pointed out on this page, "Indian" correctly refers to a Native of India. The distinction between Indian-American and American Indian will elude most non-Americans. So I think that Harmil's proposal, above is the way to go, with the following additional stipulation: Native American (or "Native American (U.S.)", if you must) should remain the root article for Indigenous peoples of the continental USA. I agree with CJLL Wright about the other three articles:
Just a note: Saying that "Indian" correctly refers to a Native of India is a type of cultural arrogance we ought to avoid. "Indian" correctly refers to the people who call themselves Indians. --Kevin Myers 04:31, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
"Cultural arrogance" is strong language. Indians are those from India. That is just a fact. If someone who is not from India wishes to call him or herself "Indian" that's fine. Usage for doing that is well established since Columbus dubbed Natives of the Americas "Indians."' The result is that many people not from the sub-continent of India call themselves "Indians." Fair enough. However, there is scant reason for an encyclopedia to perpetuate the inaccuracy. I think you have confused the convention of a people naming themselves (e.g., "black") with an incorrect usage that persists. It is very clear that the people prefer to be referred to by their Nation (Navajo, Anishinaabe, Haida, etc.). Beyond that there is only debate and conjecture over the acceptability of the term "American Indian," among both white and Native communities. Sunray 05:29, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
The thing that confuses me about googleduel is that I get different results depending on whether the words in a phrase are enclosed by quotation marks ... and the results are higher if they are. Thus (Native American) beats (American Indian), but ("American Indian") beats ("Native American"), with a lot more hits. In any event, I think this google dueling is partly beside the point. An important question, in my opinion, is whether "American Indian" gets some kind of credit for its obvious connection to the term "Indians", which is often used by itself when the context makes clear what is meant. If it doesn't, then it seems unlikely, although not impossible, that "American Indian" by itself is the most common usage. On the other hand, I would be surprised if "American Indian" or "Indian" in the sense of American Indian weren't the most common usage, although this is completely un-googletestable, because "Indian" is used in other senses. (Both "Native American" and "American Indian" are susceptible to misunderstanding, so I don't think we should decide on that basis.)
Outside of opinion, the statement "Indians are those from India" is demonstrably false. Merriam-Webster and Wiktionary agree that "Indian" also means an indigene of the Americas. Actually, in 1491, neither the Indians in India nor the Indians in America knew that they were Indians. In both cases, the word was introduced from the outside along with European languages. Moreover, off the top of my head, the term "Indian" seems to be more commonly used by the people in question than "Native American" is; for instance, there are groups with names like the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; but I don't recall seeing any groups that use "Native American" in their official names.
If we were to introduce opinion into the matter, I agree with George Carlin, who says (after repeating this "una gente in dios" hogwash), "We steal their hemisphere, kill twenty or so million of them, destroy five hundred separate cultures, herd the survivors onto the worst land we can find, and now we want to name them after ourselves? It's appalling."[4] - Nat Krause 15:00, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Dart. Board. Done. This is not something which should concern us. Both terms are widely used and both have controversy associated. We've covered that ground, and there are whole articles on the topic. Pick one and redirect the other. Do we have any strong concern that going with "American Indian" is somehow exactly the wrong thing to do? If not, let's just go with it and move on.

Do we have any other outstanding concerns before we call this grueling, weeks-long process done and start moving / re-writing / and fixing the resulting double-redirects? Is our redirect volunteer still on board? Any last words, given the fact that we can always have minor debates later? -Harmil 21:31, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Harmil, I agree that the "due diligence" phase is complete, and there's been a very good job done of exhaustively canvassing all possible views. The results demonstrate that there is no uniquely "correct" formulation, and the differing terms employed will remain valid in their particular contexts whatever name is chosen for the article. The chosen name of the article is not as important as continuing the work to populate it with relevant info. Once renamed, the remaining task will be to consistently direct the Wikipedia user to the article which is most likely to address the topic they might be searching for; I for one will be quite happy to participate in sorting out the redirects, and also the reorg of the category schema which will also be needed once we have each of the different-scope articles broken out. Thanks to all for the contributions here to date, we are almost there.--cjllw | TALK 23:29, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I would like to comment on the points raised by Nat, above.

  1. You cannot use quotes in GoogleDuel to get the usage of the term. It will give you the number of times the term is placed in quotation marks (it is very precise). However, as you know, you can use quotes in Google. When you search Google for the two terms in quotes you get Native American = 42,600,000; American Indian = 26, 300,000. Both GoogleDuel and Google (with quotes) show significantly greater usage for the term Native American. I don't see how there can be much misunderstanding about this. Usage would seem important in determining which term should be the article and which the redirect.
  2. The first meaning given in the dictionaries I checked is: "A native or inhabitant of India or of the East Indies." The second meaning is: "A member of any of the Native American peoples except the Eskimos, Aleuts, and Inuits (American Heritage Dictionary). As I said before, it is accepted usage to refer to Aboriginals as "Indians." The dictionary confirms this. That doesn't change the fact that the first meaning is "a native of India." That is what we have to contend with.
  3. Yes, Carlin often hits the nail bang on. Either "American Indians" or "Native Americans" wilts under his withering glare. My personal preference would be to use the terms "Aboriginals," "Indigenous Peoples" or "First Nations." But it is not about my preference or anyone else's. For an encyclopedia, it is about chosing the best term based on usage, meaning, and understandability. Native American seems to be the better choice of the two terms based on at least two of these criteria. Can we agree on this? Sunray 02:40, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree on it, but I won't obstruct if this is what other people want to do, which appears to be the case. - Nat Krause 18:17, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Sunray, OK fine, it really does not matter. They are both fine names, and both very widely used. Carlin has nothing to do with this (Wikipedia should not be judging the merits of the terminology, and anyone who thinks that this is the right place to make a stand on correcting "bad" terminology should read WP:NPOV and WP:POINT as soon as possible.
Now, that leaves us with the following tasks (as informed by previous agreement and this last decision):
So, who wants to jump in and get started? -Harmil 17:32, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Count me in to go through the "what links here" and start dabbing the Latin American ones, as soon as I'm off the company clock. Hajor 17:41, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I no longer have any active objections to proceeding. Let's proceed! May I suggest that we should look into the bot option before we proceed to fix disambiguation? The vast majority of links to Native American should stay with this article, so we can move them all there to begin with and then fix the ones that ought to go elsewhere. Also, American Indian should be a separate disambiguation page (it can also link to Indian-American). - Nat Krause 18:17, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Do look into a bot, but that should not hold anything up. The bot won't be affected if manual work has already been done, and while I would suggest focusing on what a bot won't help with first, someone has to look at these articles to see what they should link to, even if it might seem obvious (because sometimes the obvious answer will be wrong). That said... let the editing begin! -Harmil 18:53, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Items 1 and 2 on Harmil's list: done. Started on #3. Please pitch in! Hajor 22:05, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

We also need to take a look at the contents of the two articles: U.S.-only material in the one, continental coverage in the other. Hajor 04:19, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Native American Redirect

Hm. Let's talk about this here rather than getting into a silly edit war. I'm curious as to why Native American currently redirects to Indigenous Peoples of the Americas rather than to the article which people searching for or linking to the term are much more likely to be looking for: Native Americans. Am I missing something here? Is there some reason Ish ishwar insists on the non-intuitive redirect? Arr. -Silence 23:13, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

From the pages and pages of discussion above, and the final compromise struck, it seems pretty obvious that Native American should redirect to Native Americans. Hajor 00:09, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Yeah. That's what I thought. Where's the controversy here? :/ -Silence 00:26, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I suppose the issue may be that it can be considered poor form to redirect to a dab page. However, as amply demonstrated above, we cannot securely (or even probably) predict what any given user might expect to see when searching for Native American material - only in US, outside of US, etc etc - so perhaps in this case it can be justified. However, Indigenous peoples of the Americas does give you information and pointers on all of the peoples, and so redirecting there could be seen as "including" their expectations, I guess. I'm not too fussed either way; logically, it's probably best to direct to Native Americans, and let the user choose what meaning they intended.--cjllw | TALK 01:44, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Ideally, articles should not purposefully link to a dab page. There's no rule against having redirects to a dab page. Having a page pointing to a dab page is not the end of the world, anyway, and we will no doubt have quite a few such links until we get the Native Americans links sorted out. - Nat Krause 03:27, 23 September 2005 (UTC)


Has anyone seriously looked into the possibility of getting a bot involved in this? "Just under 1000" sounded manageable (I did 250 or so yesterday evening), but I suspect that was an understatement caused by the way redirects are reported on "what links here". There are over 3000 pages linked to the redirect Native American: see here. Hajor 12:41, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I didn't realize there were so many. I haven't seriously looked into the possibility of a bot yet, but I was planning to do so very soon. The basic bot task, in my opinion, should be move all the links to Native American to Native Americans in the United States, because that's where the vast majority of them will end up. Then, we can manually check each article to see whether it should be changed to indigenous peoples of the Americas, or something else. I would like to suggest an additional possibility, but I want to see if there are any objections here before looking into bot feasibility: looking at the list, I think the most common situation where we want to link to indigenous peoples of the Americas would be census data. According to Race (U.S. Census), "American Indian" in U.S. data includes indigenous people from anywhere in the Americas, not just those indigenous to what is now the United States. It occurs to me that it would pretty simple to have a bot scan the sentence or other context of a given occurance of Native American and change it to ... of the Americas if and only if it occurs near "%" or "percent". That should get almost all of the census data (with the other occurances changed to Native Americans in the United States). I don't know if this is really possible, but, off the top of my head, it seems pretty simple. Furthermore, I'd like to ghettoize the census data under a particular redirect, so we can have them in one place in case we want to change something in the future; I suggest indigenous people of the Americas. Thoughts? - Nat Krause 14:46, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Maybe American Indian (U.S. Census), which could then either be a redirect, or a short article giving the official census definition and links to the other relevant pages (...of the Americas, the United States, ...naming controversy, Race (U.S. Census))? But, please, if you know a man with a bot, now's the time to contact him. Hajor 15:15, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Um... you don't have to change ANY of the census entries (e.g. under "Demographics" in city and town listings in the U.S.) because they link to [[Race (U.S. Census)|Native Americans]]. Leave those alone, as they already point to the correct page. What we need to fix is just the entries in the "What links here" list. When one of those is a city or town in the U.S., you will find that there is another link somewhere on the page (usually under History) that goes here. That's the link you want to edit.
As for a bot... I don't think it would help. We'd still have to visit every page, only now we would have to rely on the bot's edit history to find them instead of "what links here". *shrug*. Doesn't seem to buy us anything. I just made 50 more edits. Please, everyone pitch in and help. We'll get through them pretty fast. -Harmil 17:46, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
OK, just did all of the As and Bs under the Native American redirect... taking a break for a bit. -Harmil 23:58, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, yesterday I got some help from somebody who knows what he's doing and started setting up a manually-run bot that would allow me to disambiguate the pages more quickly. However, it turns out that I could be banned for running an unauthorized bot, so I can't actually use it. This is pretty frustrating, since there is a job to do and I'm happy to do it, but instead I have to ask somebody else to do it or apply for permission. I'll look into getting permission, but we might have taken care of everything botlessly before that happens.
FYI, Harmil is totally right about the census entries. Well, almost totally right because there are a few stragglers here and there that are not yet properly disambiguated. - Nat Krause 10:56, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
True enough. I've been doing a few dozen a day or so. It's slow going, but not too bad. I'm certainly learning a fair amount from reading even just a few words of all of these articles. I'm sure some of my dabs will be reverted by people who don't "get it"... I'm wondering if we should have a project page to direct people to for more info? -Harmil 12:47, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Just for laughs...

Way up above I suggested how to break up the "Native Americans" into separate articles. After 14,193 words of discussion, I think we've now done pretty much what I initially suggested. This just proves that what I'm always telling The Woman is true after all: You can save a lot of time by just doing what I say the first time! ;-) Just kidding. Love, Kevin Myers 11:01, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

As they say in Hansard: "Oh, oh...(some hon. members)." We are all learners here. You patiently instruct, but I note you also learn! Do you say that aloud to The Woman or do you just think it? In either case, as always, it is good working with you. Sunray 16:34, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Sometimes I say it out loud...and pay for it for a long time. --Kevin Myers 07:51, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Ongoing disambiguation: you can help!

I'm still plowing through the disambiguation. If you have the time to help, please do. At this time, we're down to below 500, but not by all that much. Here's how you help:

  • Follow the What links here link on the side of the page.
  • Skip any "User:", "Talk:", "Wikipedia:" or other non-core namespace articles. I even skip over most lists, as they tend to have lots of poorly maintained links, and take up too much time.
  • Follow the link for an article
  • Search for the link (my browser doesn't search in text entries, so I search before I edit). It might be called "Native American(s)" or "American Indian(s)" or any of a few others, but usually searching for "native" or "indian" finds the link quickly.
  • Edit that section, adding a link to Indigenous peoples of the Americas if the context is not U.S.-specific or to Native Americans in the United States if it is (just add or change the part before the "|", not the text of the article).
  • Add an edit summary like this, "dab Native Americans" or be more descriptive if you changed something else too.

Happy editing to you! -Harmil 10:39, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

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