Native American or Indian?

This is the first day of my blog tour, be sure and visit

Everyone I know who has Native American blood flowing through their veins prefers to be called Indian. 

It does cause some problems though, because many people in our area are Indians from India. 

In our family we have several American Indians: my daughter-in-law is half Yacqui, which of course means her daughters and their children have some of this DNA.

Another granddaughter is about 1/4 Tule River Indian (Yokut.)

The Indians I borrow a lot from for my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries are also Tule River Indians (Yokut.)

I had a very good friend who was Tolowa--and that's what she wanted to be called. Wrote about her and the Tolowa tribe in Kindred Spirits.

In my opinion, using American after whatever ethnic background we come from seems weird. We should all consider ourselves Americans and leave it at that. Most of us so-called caucasians are such a mix-up of races, it would be pretty dumb to list them and add American at the end. 

Why I even brought this up is because when I'm promoting my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books, I want people to know that Tempe is an Indian, and there is always some sort of Indian mysticism in the books. 

So, what to do, I still don't know, and I'm sure everyone's opinions are varied.

In any case--Tempe is an Indian with ties to the Bear Creek Indian Reservation which very much resembles the Tule River Indian Reservation.



Virgilio said…
Bravo Marilyn,
I too known many Indians from several different tribes, mostly Apache because I grew up near the San Carlos Apache reservation. I also taught college classes on the reservation, and did volunteer church work there as well. Every one of them refer to themselves as "Indian", though they often say it "Indun".

The Apache are closely related to the Navajo and speak a dialect of the same language, Southern Athabascan. The Navajo name for themselves, is Dine pronounce Da-nay; the Western Apache name for themselves N'de pronounced In-dee. Though New Mexico tribes are closer to the Navajo name.

I think the political correctness of our times and the lack of a true understanding of history has created in most of the public a false image of the "savage Indian" or of the "Noble Red Man". Both are silly and demeaning, they are people and have all the good traits and foibles of any other people. The also have their own cultural and traditions, which few Americans make little effort to understand. The most infuriating thing to me is how politicians and environmental extremists use them as pawns to promote their goals to the detriment of the people. I find your view refreshing.

Best of luck with your new book. -Virgil Alexander author of The Baleful Owl (yep, strong Indian theme)
Thanks for stopping by, Virgil. What I've found over the years is that the Indians I know are just like all the rest of us, same hopes and desires.
Thonie Hevron said…
Thanks, Marilyn, for your views on this subject. I always wonder about this and haven't been able to find a definitive answer. Seems there isn't.
elve said…
Hi Marilyn... Is there any chance at all that there is a trace of American Indian in our family? I have always wondered and questioned this although I see nothing to support my curiosity other than an occasional comment I would hear growing up. If something like this occurred, it could have been easily brushed under the rug, hidden, and never truly known. All said and done when following the traces of our family history, we will never know who was with who. When I look over the documents I was given about my own family, my parents (George and Lydia), my kiddos, and my marriages (2), well there are many errors! Which I hope to have correct by Margie someday.. I am such a procrastinator! But I read over this and realize so much information can be left out deliberately or purposely. So do you think there was any chance?

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