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Native Americans

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The descendants of the original inhabitants of North America and South America before the arrival of white settlers from Europe, also called Indians or American Indians. The term Native American is sometimes preferred over Indian because the latter is a misnomer that originated with Columbus, who mistook the inhabitants of America for the people of India. Both terms, however, are accepted.

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notes for Native Americans

In recent years, Native American activism has taken the form of calls for the protection of their tribal or ancestral shrines and artifacts.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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