The English term “Amerindian” (short for “Indians of the Americas”) is often used in the Guianas. Latin Americans of mixed European and Indigenous descent are usually referred to as mestizos (Spanish) and mestiços (Portuguese). South American indigenous peoples include: Indigenous peoples in Argentina.
There are about 320,000 Hindus in South America, chiefly the descendants of Indian indentured laborers in the Guianas. There are about 185,000 Hindus in Guyana, 120,000 in Suriname, and some others in French Guiana.
Before the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the region was home to many indigenous peoples, a number of which had advanced civilizations, most notably from South; the Olmec, Maya, Muisca and Inca.
American Indians – Native Americans The term “Indian,” in reference to the original inhabitants of the American continent, is said to derive from Christopher Columbus, a 15th century boat-person. Some say he used the term because he was convinced he had arrived in “the Indies” (Asia), his intended destination.
Major pre-Columbian civilisations include the Olmecs and Aztecs of Mexico, the Inca and Tiahuanaco civilisations of the Andes and the Mayans of Central America. Some of the most well-known indigenous peoples descended from these civilizations: Quecha. Aymara.
The social class system of Latin America goes as follows from the most power and fewest people, to those with the least amount of power and the most people: Peninsulares, Creoles, Mestizos, Mulattoes, Native Americans and Africans.
There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. “Native Americans” (as defined by the United States Census) are Indigenous tribes that are originally from the contiguous United States, along with Alaska Natives.
First Nations There are more than 630 First Nation communities in Canada, which represent more than 50 Nations and 50 Indigenous languages.
In Brief. For decades archaeologists thought the first Americans were the Clovis people, who were said to have reached the New World some 13,000 years ago from northern Asia. But fresh archaeological finds have established that humans reached the Americas thousands of years before that.
Indian (adj., n.) “inhabit of India or South Asia; pertaining to India,” c. 1300 (noun and adjective), from Late Latin indianus, from India (see India).
“Indian.” On its own, “Indian” refers to people from India, so you wouldn’t use it to describe an Indigenous person. “Natives.” Someone might say, “I’m Native,” dropping the “American,” but white oppressors have traditionally used the plural “natives” in negative and dismissive ways.
Latin America is home to over 800 different indigenous peoples, with a total population of 45 million people.
There are 826 different indigenous peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean, with an estimated population of 58 million people (ECLAC, 2014) (Table 1). These peoples share common concerns that form the basis of their global and regional agendas.
Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.