Date: Tue, 1 Nov 1994 16:42:16 -0600

From: Michael Linn mlinn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]D.UMN.EDU

Subject: Response to Terms

Lynn Murphy's interesting and perceptive analysis of attitude

self reference terms. But it doesn't address the regional

influence on the terms. In Minnesota, and particularly Northern

Minnesota, indigenous people of all ages resent being called

Native American. In 1979, and reaffirmed 1994, the American

Indian Affairs Council of Minnesota stated that American Indian

was the term to use in all references to indigenous people. To

see if this attitude was widely accepted, I polled the other

members of the American Indian Advisory Board, a group of

American Indian faculty, staff, students and community leaders.

Everyone strongly prefered American Indian so it does not merely

reflect the "elders being more resistant to change." None of

my colleagues here want to be called Native American. Since I

see Native American written elsewhere, I wonder if the term is

being adopted in other parts of the country. Here it certainly

boarders on being a racist term because the whites refer to

themselves as Native Americans at the boat landings when they

harass American Indians for exercising our fishing rights.

My American Indian friends here prefer to be called Anishinabe,

not colleague. As they prefer to call me Assiniboine, or other

informal names.

Michael Linn