Some Native Americans and American Indians do not like to be referred to by those terms, nor would they like the title I have proposed, Original Americans; they would rather be identified as members of their respective tribes instead.
It is true that there is no one kind of Indian, hence Indians are not all like. The same thing goes for Africans: many of us think Africans are all alike. But there are a wide variety of physical and cultural forms for any class of people no matter how classified.
But the issue I have raised, by proposing that the members of all the tribes be referred to as Original Americans, is political: to stake out general rights for those Original Americans who do not want to be assimilated by the 'Borg' or be ignored as particulate tribes. Therefore to group many tribes together for their own defense is politically convenient if not politically correct.
An example of the importance of classification integrity: the librarian at the now defuct ezine, Themestream.com, who happened to be a female, eliminated the Women's Issues category, saying, in effect, that it was no longer needed because we are all equal now, and that matters of interest to females can be found in all the taxonomical category.
I objected to the re-burial of women under the male-dominated culture. My protest was politely made, in the form of an essay posted on the site, with copies sent via email to the Themestream.com staff, including the founder of the company.
In response, my article was deleted, and the Themestream.com editor, Mr. Bernstein, professedly a highly respected professional editor with many years of experience in publishing, warned me that if I reposted my essay on the site or made any further public objection elsewhere to the deletion of the Women's Issues Category, all of my work would be removed as contrary to the business interests of Themestream.com, and that I would not be paid any monies owed to me for my previous articles. Therefore I filed a letter of protest with all of Themestream's advertisers, including the Social Security Administration.
The founder, the editor, and the "librarian" of Themestreame were ignorant in many respects. Since the advent of the Internet, people without a masters in library science, people who can barely spell 'taxonomic', dare to call themselves librarians as they make commercial alphabet soup out of centuries of careful thought. Not to mention the fact that, in the commercial sense, Women's Issues can be a big seller, despite the fact that women are NOT all alike. Some time later, a new librarian at Themestream restored the category.
Now I have suggested that "Original Americans" is a better category than the most popular one, Native Americans. The use of the term "native" in "Native Americans" is still used as a "politically correct" term by people who think of "natives" not as humans, but as animals and plants, and by no means in the poetic sense. Of course some activists think animals are superior to human beings, but that is beside the point. I believe that 'Original American' would be better nomenclature because it does not have the pejorative baggage. In fact, to be Original is an ideal to which many people strive.
The Author's Den