What do Canadians call Indians

Indians, Indians, Inuit - what is right?

Indians, Indians, Inuit - the names for the indigenous people of North, Central and South America as well as the Arctic have been firmly imprinted over the centuries and are associated with certain ideas about these people.

But are our ideas also correct? Which peoples are called Indians?

Is the word Eskimo a dirty word?
We want to answer these and many other questions in our Indian special.
If we look up the lexicon, we find under Indians the statement that this is the umbrella term for the native people of the Americas.
However, the indigenous people of the Arctic, the Inuit, are not one of them.


In addition, a distinction is made between the Indians of North America and the Indians who live in Central and South America. Is that then the Indios? At this point we could make the first faux pas. If we called a native of South America that, he would be offended. For many natives, the word “Indio” is a dirty word given to them by the European conquerors. You associate it with great disdain. People prefer to be called "indigenous" or local people.

The Indians of North America also refer to themselves as Native Americans or Native - the indigenous people. The Canadian Indians call themselves First Nations and thus express that they were the first people on the new continent. Long before a European explorer set foot on the land.
It was also the conquerors who gave the natives the name of abuse redskin gifts. However, this had absolutely nothing to do with the actual skin color of the natives, but related to the red body painting of the tribesmen.
Interestingly, they are among the Native Americans also the Inuit and Aleutians in Alaska and in the Arctic of northern Canada. The term "Eskimo" encompasses all indigenous people of the Arctic. It is said to be translated as "raw meat eater" and comes from the language of the Algonquin Indians. Since languages ​​are being researched again and again and there were and are countless Indian languages, some scientists today come to the conclusion that it could also be called “snowshoe weavers”.

Many natives of the Arctic find the word "Eskimo" an insult and that is why the correct name has been "Inuit" since 1977. In the native language, this word means "people".

Since 1986 there has been the designation "indigenous peoples" for all indigenous people, peoples and tribes of a continent who were the first to colonize it. They include the Indians of North, Central and South America, the Inuit and Aleutians of the Arctic, the Sami in Northern Europe, the Maori in New Zealand, the Aborigines in Australia, the Tibetans in Nepal, the Tuareg in Algeria, the Pygmies in Africa, and many, many other peoples and tribes of this earth.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of indigenous peoples belong to the threatened peoples of this earth, who have to fight for their rights and often for their survival every day.

If you want to know something about the Indians of South America, click here!

Text: Nicole Potthoff