There is much debate and strong feelings in our nation about how to identify various groups. At Studies Weekly, we work to create and nurture an inclusive environment. To ensure that we write about indigenous people using language that is not offensive, we consulted several sources. First, Grammarist states that the term 'American Indian' is more appropriate. It claims that the expression, 'Native American,' has fallen out of popularity. In the Native Times and Native Sun News, tribal journalists state that the term 'Native American' was thrust upon them by a white activist and does not reflect their desires. Whenever possible, they like to be identified by the tribe. For generalized references, they prefer to be called 'American Indian.'
Part of our rationale is also to be in alignment with the federal government of the United States of America. To be officially recognized by the federal government, the tribe has to have a political relationship with the U.S. government. When a tribe has that legal status, then it is known as an American Indian tribe with the power to self-govern as a separate nation. If the tribe is not federally recognized, then it is known as Native American. In summation, all American tribal members can be called Native Americans, but it is a higher and more prestigious status to be called an American Indian.