What's in a Name?
The words "Native American" and "Indian" are used to describe a diverse group of people whose ancestors lived in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans and subsequent groups. Both terms—Native American and Indian—are non-indigenous, words coined by non-natives. Like "Latino" or "Asian," Native American—the term used in this guide—is a general category that neglects the social, linguistic, economic, cultural, religious, and geographic diversity that exists within these groupings of people. Native Americans identify themselves by the name of their Nation or "tribe," such as Wompanoag, Huron, or Pequot.
Contemporary New York City
Sixty per cent of the people in the roughly 500 nations that make up today's Native American population live in cities. In the 2000 census, 30,000 New York City residents identified themselves as "Native American": members of many different nations, Mohawk, Lenape, and Cherokee, among others.