"The First People"

Compiled by Stephenie Flora 

 This may be an appropriate time to comment on the term Indian vs Native American.  I have a friend from the Yakama Tribe.  One day I asked her if she preferred to be called Indian or Native American.  Here reply was:  "first I am human and I want to be treated as such, then I  would like to be called by my given name, then I am Yakama.  If none of these are sufficient then I am Indian.  Anyone born in America can be Native American.  I am Indian and as long as it is said with respect I prefer it."

That raised the question in my mind whether this was an individual preference or if that opinion was held by others.  I sent a letter to each of the Confederated tribes in Oregon and explained my question and her reply.  I then asked them their opinion.  The individuals who replied were all quick to point out that it was only their opinion and did not express the opinions of others in the tribe but they unanimously said that they preferred the designation of Indian.  With that in mind you will see the term Indian used on my website.  It is said, not only with respect, but also with a good deal of admiration for their heritage.

We often hear references to the "Indian Tribes". But, it is important to note that the tribes were actually part of a larger group known as a "Nation".  Within the tribes there were individual "bands" and within the bands were individual family groups.  Each tribe had a head chief with numerous sub-chiefs.


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My name is Stephenie Flora.. Return to [ Home Page ]. All [ Comments and Inquiries ] are welcome.