the Name Niiji
Island is the original name for North America.
Turtle Island comes from the Aboriginal Creation story.
Island was named North America after a Spanish explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
The Anishinabek are one of
the most widespread nations of the Aboriginal People of Turtle Island.
There is Anishinabek people living from The Canadian Sub-arctic across
Turtle Island into Mexico. Many Native nations say that they are
Anishinabek such as the Ojibway also called Chippewa, the Odawa, the
Potawatomie, The Algonquins in Ontario's North-East and others. There is
many nations similar to the Anishinabek such as the Algonquin related
people in the East Coast, the Arapaho nation and the Tsitsistas nation,
also known as Cheyenne in the Prairies, and the Yurok nation on the West
Coast. The Anishinabek language is a widely accepted aboriginal
language in Turtle Island. The word Niiji is an Anishinaabek word
originally used by the Ojibway and Cree to mean friend.
Turtle Island Flag
Lately Aboriginal People
of Turtle Island often use the term Niiji to address each other and
themselves equivalent to the meaning of the word Indian. The word Indian
originates in one version from Spanish and in another version again from
Spaniards calling Turtle Island Natives people from India, Indians. The
term Niiji very clearly defines the person as an aboriginal from Turtle
Island other than Inuit. When used today, the term Indian could refer to
a person from India or to a person of any aboriginal nationality on any
of the continents with populations that lead lifestyles similar to those
of the aboriginal people on Turtle Island. Similar to the term Indians
referring to Turtle Island aboriginal people, the aboriginal people in
the Arctic were called Eskimos. The term Eskimo is not a term that the
aboriginal people of the Arctic called themselves but rather a term used
by Europeans that originated from the Cree language calling people raw
meat eaters. Due to the term Eskimo not being a term the aboriginal
people in the Arctic introduced, the term Eskimo was replaced by what
the aboriginal people in the Arctic call themselves, which is the word
Inuit. Inuk means man in the language of the aboriginal people of the
Arctic and Inuit means men in their language. Their language is called
Inuktitut. In the US the Inuit are called Inupiaq. The word Niiji has already replaced the term Indian in many
cases among Native youth and elders and it could completely replace the
term Indian just like the word Eskimo was replaced by name Inuit.
Every Native nation in Turtle Island has it's
distinct language and name. The name Niiji doesn't replace the names
of nations; it replaces the wider term Indian that covers all Native
nations and at the same time clearly refers to to the aboriginal
people of Turtle Island and excludes any other aboriginal nation
also referred to as Indians. In Europe, Asia and Africa there are
numerous nations with all of them acknowledging to be Europeans,
Asians or Africans. Natives in Turtle Island that address themselves
as Niiji, call themselves Niijis regardless of the nation they are
from, just like Europeans, Asians and Africans call themselves
Europeans, Asians and Africans.
People often talk about an Indian language and
ignore the fact that just like there is no one single language
spoken by all Europeans, there is no one single language spoken by
all aboriginal people of Turtle Island. The name Niiji makes it
clear that there is not one language spoken by aboriginal people of
Turtle Island due to the fact that, there is no such thing as a
language called Niiji. Just like there is not just one language in
any of the continents, there is no just one language among the
aboriginal people of Turtle Island.
The aboriginal people of Turtle Island have
chosen to refer to their continent by the original name for it which
is Turtle Island. They have chosen the flag with the four colors:
white, yellow, red and black to be the general flag representing all
aboriginal people of Turtle Island and in some cases also the
non-aboriginals on Turtle Island. They have chosen a general symbol
of the Medicine Wheel with the four colors, as the insignia of
Turtle Island. The Turtle Island aboriginal people's use of the name
Niiji to address themselves is only natural.
Posted March 29,2007 by MSM