By: Marc Immanuel

Originally published on: 19 January 2017
Last updated on: 4 March 2018

DEFINITION OF “INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE WESTERN CONTINENT”
 (sources: 3, 9)

The term “Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent” is here defined as:

‘one of the major subgroups of the anatomically modern human race, which inhabited and developed in the Continent of the Western Hemisphere [the Continent called “the Americas” (European naming), consisting of the collective region of the subcontinents “North America” and “South America“]’

.                                                                                                           Part 1:
.                                                                                             Definition of “Indigenous

The contemporary English adjective “indigenous” is derived from the Latin word “indigena”, meaning literally, ‘born in (a region)’, from Old Latin, indu,in, within’ (earlier endo), + gene, ‘beget’.

As used in contemporary English, the adjective “indigenous”  is a descriptive term which may describe categories of  biological organisms in general  (plant, nonhuman animal,  and human). The adjective designates categories of organisms as ‘originating in and characteristic of a particular geographical region’.

Part 2:
Definition of “Indigenous Peoples”

With reference to the human species, the adjective “indigenous” designates categories of the human species as ‘originating in a particular geographical region’. The plural noun “indigenous peoples“, therefore, refers to the ‘original peoples of a particular geographical region’.

[The term “aboriginal” is sometimes used synonymously or similarly to “indigenous” — in referring to the ‘original peoples of a particular geographical region’. The term “indigenous“, the term I choose and recommend, is the most widely used contemporary international conventional term for this general meaning.]

Part 3:
Definition of “Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent (the Americas)

The term, “Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent (the Americas)”, refers to the total historical population of the original peoples and their descendant peoples populating the Western Continent [“the Americas” (European naming)].

Other common contemporary terms referring to this major subgroup of the human race are:

— “First Peoples/First Nations
[of the Continent called “America, the Americas” (European naming)[
Native Peoples
[of the Continent called “America, the Americas” (European naming)]

ORIGIN OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF WESTERN CONTINENT
(sources: 1, 2, 3)

According to the agreement of most contemporary researchers of the subject:

The Indigenous Peoples of the Continent of the Western Hemisphere originated in at least three waves of migration of a population which existed in the northern subregion of the main Continent of the Eastern Hemisphere [the subregion called “North Asia/Eurasia” (European naming), a.k.a. “Siberia”, of the Continent called “Afro-Eurasia” (European naming)], about 20,000 ago.

The ancestor population of the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent was a mixed-origin population in south-central Siberia. The origin of that ancestor population was of indigenous peoples of the eastern subregion of “Eurasia” [the subregion “East Asia/Eurasia” (European naming)] mixed with indigenous peoples of the western subregion of “Eurasia” [the subregion “West Eurasia”, synonymously “Europe” (European naming)].

About 20,000 years ago, a portion of that ancestor population separated from the original Siberian population, crossed through a natural land bridge which then existed in what is now the Bering Straight, and became the original “First Peoples” to migrate into the Continent of the Western Hemisphere.



THE WESTERN EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF THE WESTERN CONTINENT
(source 3)

Imperialist/colonialist western “West Eurasian” (“European”) occupation of the Western Continent began after western European explorer and colonialist invader Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Western Continent in the year 1492 (in the Gregorian calendar).

Christopher Columbus believed the discovered land to be the “Indies” (at the time referring primarily to “South-Southeast Asia/Eurasia”). And so, initially, many western Europeans believed that the indigenous peoples of the region were “Indians” (at the time referring to the ‘peoples of the Indies’).

In the early 16th century, western European explorers became convinced that what had actually been discovered was a “New World” — a previously unknown Continent which, when sailing westward from “West Eurasia” (“Europe)”, was located between “West Eurasia” (“Europe”) and “East-Southeast Asia/Eurasia”.

The collective region of this newly discovered Continent began to be called “America” by western European cartographers in the 16th century, named after the Latinized form (“Americus”) of the name of western European explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

THE CONTINUATION OF THE USE OF THE MISNOMER “INDIANS
BY THE COLONIAL EUROPEAN PEOPLES
(source 4, 5)

Following the western European discovery of the Western Continent by Christopher Columbus in 1492, peoples of “West Eurasia” (“Europe”) began to colonize the Western Continent.

Even though it became well known, in the course of the 16th century, that the indigenous peoples of the Western Continent were distinct peoples from the  indigenous  peoples of South-Southeast Asia/Eurasia, the colonial European peoples continued to incorrectly refer to the indigenous peoples of the Western Continent — as a major human subgroup — as “Indians“.

By 1765, the British Empire, one of the colonialist western European empires, had control of both a large portion of the Western Continent and of the Indian subcontinent. In the English-speaking societies of the British Empire, the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent  became referred to, specifically, as “Red Indians” (differentiated from the “East Indians” of the Indian subcontinent). Later, the Indigenous Peoples became referred to, specifically, as “American Indians” (or, in another form, “Amerindians“).

Beginning soon after Christopher Columbus’ initial arrival on 12 October 1492, and throughout the following five centuries (16th through 20th centuries), the whole of the Western Continental region was forcibly occupied and its indigenous peoples subjected to sustained genocide (physical, biological, and cultural) and crimes against humanity (according to contemporary definitions) by imperialist/colonialist/white-supremacist  European groups and their authorities.

The misnomer “Indian” — in the forms “Indian”, “Red Indian”, and later “American Indian” (or “Amerindian”) — was, through violent conquest including physical/biological/cultural genocide,  imposed upon the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent during that  500-year period.

CONTEMPORARY ETHNONYMS FOR
THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE WESTERN CONTINENT

Contemporarily, the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Continent — as a major human subgroup — are commonly referred to and commonly refer to themselves by the following terms:

— “Indigenous Peoples”
[of the Continent called “America, the Americas” (European naming)]
— “First Peoples/First Nations”
[of the Continent called “America, the Americas” (European naming)]
— “Native Peoples”
[of the Continent called “America, the Americas” (European naming)] 

Also contemporarily used is the term, “Native American Peoples”.

When (1) the term “Americans” is used in the original geographical context [‘”America (the Americas)”], the compound term ”Native Americans” is used to refer to the “Native (Indigenous) Peoples of the Americas”.

When (2) the term ”Americans” is used in the exclusively US context, the compound term ”Native Americans” is used to refer exclusively to the ”Native (Indigenous) Peoples of the Americas residing within the collective territory under occupation of the United States” (excluding the distinguished ethnical category ”Alaska Natives’‘).

RECOMMENDATIONS 
FOR DISUSE AND USE OF TERMS

● I recommend the complete disuse of the European-origin misnomer “Indian” (or “American Indian“, ‘Amerindian‘, or any of its forms), in any reference or relation to Indigenous (Native) Peoples of the Western Continent. (I recommend the disuse of any form of that term, as well,  to Indigenous (Native) – origin persons who have adopted the use of the term.)

● I recommend the complete disuse of the contemporary compound term ”Native American”, in any reference or relation to Indigenous (Native) Peoples of the Western Continent. The primary reason for this recommendation is that any compound term which contains the term ”American” in reference or relation to Indigenous (Native) Peoples of the Western Continent is essentially a European-origin imposition following the European-origin conquest and physical/biological/cultural genocide. (I recommend the disuse of any form of that term, as well, to Indigenous (Native) – origin persons who have adopted the use of that term.)

● When using, in text,  the  term  “Indigenous Peoples”  (or ”Native Peoples”)  as  a  proper  name  for a  particular group of indigenous peoples, or the adjective “Indigenous” in relation to that proper name, I recommend capitalization of the term.

● When using, in text, the term “Native” in reference to the indigenous people or peoples of a particular region, I recommend capitalization of the term (to distinguish the meaning from the term, ”native”, in the purely geographical meaning).

When referring to a particular ethnic group of indigenous peoples, I recommend using the endonym of the particular group (the ethnonym by which the members of a particular ethnic group, in general, refer to the particular group).

 

______________________________________________________________

SOURCES OF INFORMATION
(Internet)

1. “Native American Ancestors Came From Asia in Three Migrations”,
Medical News Today (MNT), article (anthropological),
by Catharine Paddock (PhD), 12 July 2012
2. “DNA Links Native Americans With Europeans”,
Science Nordic, article (anthropological),
by Rasmus Kragh Jakobsen, 22 November 2013
3. “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas”,
Wikipedia, volunteer-written encyclopedia, article (historical)
4. “Colonialism and Genocide in the Americas”,
Wikipedia, volunteer-written encyclopedia, article (historical)
5. “500 Years of Indigenous Resistance”,
American Indian Movement (AIM), article (historical)
6. “Native American Name Controversy”,
Wikipedia, volunteer-written encyclopedia, article (semantic)
7. “About Native Americans”,
US Department of Justice, Office of Tribal Justice
8. “American (Word)“,
Wikipedia, volunteer-written encyclopedia, semantical article
9. “Indigenous”, Dictionary.com, definition

______________________________________________________________

A PROPOSAL FOR THE RENAMING OF “AMERICA”
______________________________________________________________

Home Page:

CRIMES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT:
From the Trail of Tears
to the Invasion of Iraq

______________________________________________________________

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