stop using "Indian" and "Native American" interchangeably

stop using "Indian" and "Native American" interchangeably

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jazz stovall started this petition to President Donald J. Trump

when you see this picture, do you think of the word "Indian"? you shouldn't, because those are Native Americans. I've seen too many instances of these words being used in place of each other, whether it be on a school assignment or a road sign.

the thing is, Native Americans and Indians aren't the same people. using "Indian" and "Native American" to describe and refer to the same people is erasing not just Native American culture, but Indian culture too. it's disregarding all of the struggles both groups have had to put up with, and all the accomplishments that they've made. 

the only reason why people even call them Indians is because of Christopher Columbus. when travelled to North America, he thought he had arrived at the West Indies, which made him think that the people residing there were Indians. they are not, and this was figured out later. we know that they are Native Americans, and some people don't even know that it's hurtful to call them Indians, but they are still widely referred to as such (this is often used in a racist manner as well). so widely that some sports teams have named themselves that, and the mascots are represented as Native Americans. in the case of the Cleveland Indians, their old mascot, Chief Wahoo (which has since been replaced) was depicted as having red skin, which is inherently racist.

one of the other reasons that this personally messes me up so much is because my teachers say it. it's not even just my teachers, I know other people have experienced it too. it doesn't sit right with me because they're supposed to be our teachers. they're supposed to teach us the right words to use, not the wrong ones. they're supposed to be role models, not people you hope to never turn into.

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