No humans are native to the Americas.

Everybody who lives in the Americas today either came here personally, or is descended from someone who did, or who was dragged here against their will.

The people who live in this hemisphere are adventurers, people who want a better life for themselves and their families, explorers, pioneers, and survivors.

We can discover where people came from by looking at the DNA in their mitochondria. Mitochondria are transmitted by eggs only. Not sperm. Mitochondria are in every cell of our bodies. They contain DNA that is not in the cell nucleus. This DNA is from the mother only. Mitochondrial DNA is the same in all children of the same mother, the same maternal grandmother, and so on through the generations.

The so-called “indigenous people” or “native Americans” have 4 unique mitochondrial DNA sequences. These mitochondrial DNA sequences are also present in Siberians. Therefore, all the so-called “native Americans” are descended from four Siberian women who probably came here with men, or possibly traveled while pregnant.

People aren’t native to Siberia either. People originated in Africa. But since that happened a long time ago, people tend to describe themselves in terms of the country they lived in before they came to the Americas.

Therefore, I propose the term Siberian-Americans or First Americans as the most accurate term to use, rather than “native Americans” or “indigenous people.”

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Comment by JMac1949 Today on March 30, 2016 at 4:15pm

Other than the possibile exception of Homo floresiensis in Indonesia, no humans are native to any place other than Africa.  R&L ;-)

Comment by nerd cred on March 30, 2016 at 4:34pm

Seriously?

I say let them decide. And all the ones I know call themselves Indians so I'm going with that. Or Ojibwe, Lakota or Dakota. Though some use Sioux, too.

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on March 30, 2016 at 4:37pm

NC, the national dialogue wants a group term. The US has 566 nationally recognized tribes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federally_recognized_tribes  It seems unfair to list just a few.

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on March 30, 2016 at 4:38pm

If the 566 tribes can agree on a term, that's great!

Comment by Zanelle on March 30, 2016 at 4:39pm

I like First Americans, has a nice ring to it.

Comment by nerd cred on March 30, 2016 at 4:53pm

I listed the ones I listed because they're the people I talk to. I guess I wasn't aware there was a national need.

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on March 30, 2016 at 5:32pm

I'm taking a class at the local junior college. Conversations tend to go like this: person 1: "The native Americans ..." person 2: "there are no native Americans."  I think we need a term to avoid this rhetorical delaying tactic. Maybe I'm just hanging out with a fringe group.

Comment by nerd cred on March 30, 2016 at 5:51pm

Oh yes. If you're at any college, it's a fringe group. ;-) At least that's the way it seems to this old woman - colleges have gone over the edge!

Slightly more seriously. In an article about the use of the slur that is long time name for the Washington DC football team, someone cited polls that show that a significant majority of Indians just don't care about it one way or the other. Someone else explained this as, they have more important things to think about than what some football team calls itself, just trying to survive.

That's all interesting and maybe appealing but it was Indians who led the long, long and ultimately successful to get the Univ of North Dakota to change their name from "Fighting Sioux" to whatever they changed it to. And ND really, really fought it. Sioux isn't even a slur. (It also isn't an Indian word but that's something else again.)

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on March 30, 2016 at 6:04pm

Tuition at my local junior college is $153 per 3 unit class if you are over 65.  I definitely qualify. Back in the dark ages when I went to junior college the first time, it was free. I probably have the cheapest BA on record. total cost of $1000. Partly thanks to an essay contest at my BA college -- where the prize (which everyone I know who entered won) buy one semester, get one free. 

Comment by nerd cred on March 30, 2016 at 6:55pm

That's great. Do you have to fill up empty spaces? I mean, are there quotas? I'm not saying it right. There was a similar program at the U of Minn - several actually - where people on the lower cost program could only take classes that hadn't filled up with full price students.

I wasn't even aware of any junior colleges when I went to college. I suppose there were some ...

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