Over time, Indigenous Peoples in the United States have been referred to by many names. Today, the most common names are American Indian, Native American, Indigenous, or Native. Although all of these terms are still actively used, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. Honoring this specificity is of great importance to Native People as it is a way of honoring a distinct Tribal culture by naming the Peoples that pre-dated European colonizers' arrival.
In the United States, the term Native American has been widely used. Still, it is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms – American Indian or Indigenous American are preferred by many Native people. American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native are acceptable and often used interchangeably in the United States; however, Native Peoples often have individual preferences on how they would like to be addressed. To find out which term is best, ask the person or group which term they prefer.
When talking about Native groups or people, use the terminology the members of the community use to describe themselves. Although Indigenous Peoples can be referred to as a collective, remember there is no single American Indian culture or language. Below is a further explanation of each of these terms.
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This section highlights resources for exploring local Native history, including links to Native cultural centers and organizations in the Northeast.
This list includes links to official websites for tribal nations located in the southern part of the Northeast region.