Sunday, February 27, 2005

Is it Indian Art or Native Art?

To continue with the same type of debate as Inuit vs Eskimo, we also have Indian art vs Native art. There has been some suggestion that the term 'Indian' is not appropriate but upon further research, there are many Native American groups that still refer to themselves as 'Native Indian' or 'American Indian' One such very large group is the Manataka group
based in Hot Springs Reservation in Arizona.

The Canadian government also has their Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs.

Therefore, the Inuit & Native Art Bulletin and Free Spirit Gallery will use the terms 'Native' and 'Indian' interchangeably.


William Waites said...

We, too, have wrestled with this issue. We have resolved it by using Native American Indian as the term in every communication. Having thus established it, we vary between Native American and American Indian.
Another term that Canadian natives use is "aborigine". We use that, capitalized, to descrive natives of Australia, which is the most common use. But the dictionary definition of "aborigine" is, I believe, indigenous people. Why wouldn't that be a good common term for all such individuals?

Clint said...

The complication for us online gallery owners is that different people out there use the different terms for searching. So if stick to just one term, we end up losing a big part of our potential audience.

Anonymous said...

Manataka is the largest fraudulent Indian “wannabe” groups in Arkansas. Not only do they make misleading claims about themselves, they exploit legitimate Indian culture and attempt to misappropriate sacred religious ceremonies, such as the Sundance, by having them brought to Arkansas for it’s members. (Luckily the Sundance “teacher” was a fraud too, and stiffed them). If you have any questions about this group, e-mail - American Indian Heritage Support Center at

Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

-plays Bingo
-trades art for moosemeat
-beads on things he has hunted
-biggest collection of "moccasin rocks" in Northwestern Ontario


great site clint.

Pat Capot said...

As a First Nations person of Cree-Metis heritage, I prefer the terms 'Native', 'Indigenous', 'Metis' or 'First Nations. For those who do not know, 'First Nations people' are treaty Natives who are deemed 'Indians' by the Canadian government. Although the government calls us 'Indians' that does not make the term acceptable. I am also 'Metis' because my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were Metis. Here again is where some people differentiate, because some Metis believe the only real Metis people are descendents of Red River, which is not what I believe. The term 'Indian' is a term of mistaken identity given to Canadian Natives by Columbus because he thought he was in the West Indies. The terms 'Native American' and 'American Indian' suggest that a person is from the United States which does not apply to Natives in Canada.
Thank you