I am writing this article to help those who may just now be looking into their Native American heritage. We have been brought up with the likes of Hollywood stereotyping the Native American on the silver screen and remarks that have been made and words used to describe the Native American for a couple of hundred years. Over the years some who were not aware of their Native American heritage did not find the negativity in the words or phrases press upon us by Hollywood and others. I am including a small list so those who may not know what the Native Americans consider offensive and why. Please use this as an educational tool so that we all as brothers and sisters of the First Nations can grow in unity, peace and harmony. I might also add I believe it doesn’t matter on blood quantum, either you are a Native American or you are not…it is a way of life, a culture, a heritage. Let us stand together as one under Unequa the Great Spirt for we are all his children who are cradled and cared for by Mother Earth. May Father Sky give us sunshine for warmth and rain for growing. Wado Awanita (Young Deer Knowlton)
PS. If you have other phases or words to add please feel free to do so.
Itsula nigadv gohusdeanadadvni (We are all related)
They are acting like a bunch of wild Indians.
This statement makes people think Native Americans do not know how to behave in a civilized way. Native Americans behave in a variety of ways depending on the situation, just like everyone else. This is a disrespectful figure of speech.
Native Americans do not have bright red skin as pictured in some cartoons and comics. Native Americans have different shades of skin color. The term “Redskin” might come from the use of reddish colored “paints” used by some Native Americans as seen by the Europeans who first came to the Americas.
The Noble Redman
This statement sounds complimentary, but it has led people to think that Native Americans do not have a sense of humor, are always very serious, and never show emotion. Actually, humor is greatly appreciated by Native Americans. Native Americans feel a variety of emotions just like everyone else.
This term makes it sound as though Native Americans give things away and then want them back. Actually, Native Americans have a strong tradition of giving gifts to express gratitude and friendship to others without expecting anything in return.
Sit Indian style.
Native Americans sit in all kinds of positions just like everyone else.
Cigar Store Indian
This term refers to painted carvings that look like the stereotypical view of what some people think Native Americans are supposed to look like. They are not accurate representations and they promote the idea that Native people have little to say and have no feelings or worthwhile ideas.
This expression has been used widely to describe many Native American women. In reality, Native Americans did not and do not have Kings, Queens, Princes, or Princesses. Today, some Native groups do have contests and events where a woman might be honored as an “Indian Princess.” However, this term does not have anything to do with royalty. Native American women and girls should be referred to as women and girls.
This term has been used to describe many Native American men. It sounds as though it might be flattering and that it means all native men have courage. However, it takes away from the understanding that native men are human beings just like all other men. It is much more polite to refer to native men as “men,” to native women as “women,” and to native babies as “babies.”
This term is sometimes used to refer to all Native American men and tends to make people think that Native American men are warlike and aggressive. It is true that some Native American men have fought in wars. Some have not. Some Native American men stand up for the rights of their people by speaking, writing, or through artistic expression. Care should be taken because “Warrior” could refer to an individual who belongs to a certain group or who has a special responsibility. Native American men should be called “men.”
This term has been used incorrectly to describe all Native American men. Only certain men are chosen to be a Chief. A Haudenosaunee traditional Chief is chosen by the women and he has certain clearly defined characteristics. His job is important and he must listen to the people in order to do his job well. Some chiefs are elected.
Native Americans greet each other by saying “How.”
This is an example of an idea that was promoted in Hollywood movies. Each Native American nation or tribe has their own language and their own way of greeting one another.
Anyone who is mixed race, such as of Native American (especially North American) and white European parentage.
(US and CAN) a female Native American. Derived from lower East Coast Algonquian (Massachuset: ussqua),which originally meant "young woman", but which took on strong negative connotations in the late 20th century. (The equivalent derisive for a male is "buck", and for a child, "papoose".)
Indian giver = a person who reneges on a transaction
Cowboys & Indians = childhood game, similar to Cops & Robbers (good guys fight the bad guys)
Honest Injun = I swear I’m telling the truth.
Added by Honemamma
Going off the Reservation