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Why does this remind us of something an American Indian activist said?

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In “The First Americans: Mounting Evidence Prompts Researchers to Reconsider the Peopling of the New World” (Scientific American, October 18, 2011), Heather Pringle looks at the surprising information regarding the first North Americans: “Humans colonized the New World earlier than previously thought—a revelation that is forcing scientists to rethink long-standing ideas about these trailblazers”

Archaeologists long thought the first Americans were the Clovis people, who were said to have reached the New World some 13,000 years ago from northern Asia.

But fresh archaeological finds prove that humans reached the Americas thousands of years before that. (Paywall)

Oh yeah, what that Indian guy said: He said, “We never asked modern science to make a determination of our origins.” Guy’s dead now, just as well he wasn’t waiting.

3 Replies to “Why does this remind us of something an American Indian activist said?

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Folks words matter.
    They are not the first americans or North Americans.
    They were not americans but asian tribes or later nations here and there.
    Americans and Canadians are another genus(s).
    just a happanchance to walk over the same land.

    to call indians first americans is to strip from the true Americans their identity and moral exclusive rights to their country.

    They NEVER call Palestinians the FIRST Israeli’s.
    Important reason(s) why.

  2. 2

    Robert, it seems to me that the distinction between a Palestinian and an Israeli is primarily political and secondarily a difference of race. They don’t call Palestinians Israelis because they prefer to be called Palestinians. Many of them are actually citizens of Israel. Palestine was simply the name of the land of Israel prior to the Israeli occupation.

    American “Indians”(more correctly “Native Americans/Canadians”) were as far as we know the first people to migrate to the North American continent. They and we are not distinguished politically, but merely by race, and that includes those who call themselves Americans from various races. It is therefore in my view quite illogical to distinguish native Americans as not being Americans or even as not being the first Americans. Being an American now is being a citizen of the United States – members of a people who legally occupy a certain geopolitical location either by birth or by immigration and naturalization. In that respect it would be correct to call them the first Americans, even if at the time man-made laws did not entitle them to that distinction. It does now. Are native Americans not US citizens when many of them prefer to be called Americans? Who has a right to deny them of that distinction?

    The same applies to Canadians. My sister-in-law is a native Canadian of the Salish tribe of British Columbia. She is as much a Canadian as anyone else who lives legally in Canada by birth or naturalization. Her race or ancestral origin has nothing to do with her rightful citizenship. Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding what you mean, but you don’t appear to be clear on what you mean.

    I think all-in-all we’ve progressed since the days of the first European settlers. And I would argue that a lot of that had to do with our being able to discern from Christian moral precepts that those distinctions are not scriptural or meaningful.

    Nobody is therefore stripped of their American identity because someone of a different racial or ancestral background also legally claims that identity.

    If your argument were to stand logically, then nobody is a true American. All are from somewhere else.

    And forgive me, but no one group of people has moral exclusive rights to this country other than it’s citizens and those who live here legally. It’s now written out in the constitution and in law. Americans respect the rights of all individuals as being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights….” That’s from the Declaration of Independence. It doesn’t say “all people of European descent,” but “all people.” Heck, it doesn’t even say “all citizens.” So even a non-citizen like me has all of the same rights (with the exception of the right to vote) as all Americans.

    I realize that this is somewhat OT, but I felt compelled to address it.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    I disagree on so much here. It shows, as in origin subjects, that close attention to details must take place for correct conclusions.
    I do mean you erred but I have read your posts here for a long time and know you are articulate and a thinking person with confidence to persuade and defend points.

    They don’t call Palestinians the first israeli’s , nor would they, because they would deny the Palestinians moral claim to the land of Israel.
    If one has first claim then what nullified that claim? Save consent.
    Surely there was and is no consent and so a charge of robbery against the Jews is today made by these Arabs since another people claims the land and the Arabs don’t have a claim to the land and even live elsewhere.
    My point is that words matter.

    The Indians tribes/nations originally in the americas are not Americans/Canadians/Brazilians. Much less first ones.

    Americans/Canadians are real species or peoples. A fox living in the hen pen doesn’t make him a hen.
    Americans are a people who segregated themselves from their British origins and all other men at a point in time and took possession and complete moral claim of what they created.
    Indians living on the land were immigrants to the American people and to the country. They became citizens, if they did or eventually upon permission of the native American man. The native is not a Indian tribe.

    Your relative in my Country is not a Canadian or a French Canadian but merely a Indian immigrant living amongst us. In fact in Canada they invented the word FIRST NATIONS to make this point. If one is first and plural then one is not the later single etc.

    Americans are not groups of identities living in some association.
    There are true americans, people in relationship who only identify with the original Americans and people who maintain their segregation as foreign immigrants. Thus the hyphenated citizen.

    Your trying to save mere birth or citizenship gives one like moral claim to America. In fact it only gives legal claim.
    America was founded on the issue of identity and its troubles always have been about identity conflicts.
    First with the British , then the southerner, the indian, the ethnics and too this day.

    Its only a contract between the man who created and owns the land and wealth AND a foreigner asking for entry.
    THe American is not agreeing the foreigner has moral claim to his home but only claim to share equally in the home.
    THats the contract. tHen complaints about the contract not being fulfiled is made by all sides.

    If one is in heart and biology not of the original American people, those thirteen colonies with citizenship rights, then one is not a true american with moral claim to America. Only legal claim.

    In sum. Either there is no American and only segregated descendants in a association or there IS an American and anyone can be an american if born and bred amongst them. If early then only bred will do the trick.
    Yet one must not be another people if one means to be a American or a southern American. The only two legitimate peoples.

    The origin of species is profoundly biological and heart.
    merely living on the land does not make you the same species.
    Its a breeding thing and that because of profound identity conclusions.

    Nope. Indians back in the day were no more the first Americans then they were Wandering Japanese.
    identity and all moral rights thereof is king.

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