WAITE | Ignorance Over Dinner

Early in my freshman year, I was eating dinner with a group of friends when we glided into a conversation on our lives before college. I mentioned growing up on the Navajo Nation and a few friends began to inquire further. Our conversation then began to spiral and I flinched when one friend voiced his belief that “Indians love to be called ‘Indian’ because that is what the white man called them.” I recognize that the term “Indian” is not collectively considered a pejorative term by the Indigenous community. And I am not Indigenous, so it is not my intent to claim that it is derogatory. As is their prerogative, it is my understanding that identity preferences change among Indigenous individuals.