American Indian Population Grows in US

Kellie Rowe, State News, January 31, 2012


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 5.2 million people identified themselves as part of the American Indian and Alaska Native category, whether alone or in combination with other races—a 27 percent growth from the 2000 Census. The 2000 Census also marked the first time citizens were allowed to identify themselves as more than one race.


Matthew Fletcher, a professor of law and director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center, participates in governing many American Indian tribes. Fletcher said although more individuals are reporting they are American Indian in census reports during the last 10 years, that wasn’t always the case.

“There were whole generations of people who would try to report (they were) white because they didn’t want to be seen as Indian,” he said. “They didn’t want to face discrimination.”

Fletcher said in the 20th century, American Indians often changed their names to assimilate to the primarily Caucasian population, often losing their native languages and culture.

Kim Rizzo, president of the Native American and Hispanic Business Students of MSU and a marketing and advertising junior, said the growth in reporting ethnicity might be because of a social change.

“Anyone who has some sort of racial identity (knows) it’s a definite struggle,” said Rizzo, who is not American Indian. “My guess would be people have started to break out of that mindset. … And in our generation, people are being more open-minded and embracing their culture.”



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  • Bardon Kaldian

    Rubbish. It’s Whites with 1/32 or 1/64 Indian “heritage” claiming their “roots” in order to make themselves look “exotic” in sex market.

    • Also whites with trace Indian ancestry looking to go into the gaming business.

      • Bardon Kaldian

         Maybe they think of themselves as “businessmen/women”. Not unlike Al Capone.

      • Oil Can Harry

        I visited the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut and saw plenty of whites and blacks pretending to be Injuns in order to make $ off of gambling. 

        • Anonymous

          Donald Trump thinks the same thing about the faux Pequots of CT.  Of course he’s right, but also has other reasons for opposing them.

    • Anonymous

      I do not think it is to look exotic in the sex market; it is to get affirmative action.  A “Native American”: that is someone enrolled in a tribe, even with overwhelmingly White genes will have their pick of universities and will be priority hires when they graduate. 

      Whites who cannot be enrolled still like to say they are part “Native American” because they think it is cool.  They have been brainwashed to think that the Indians were in touch with nature, spiritual, and peace-loving while Whites are evil, nature hating materialists.  A bit of truthful history would clear that up pretty quickly.

      • Bardon Kaldian

        While AA is still here, I don’t see why genuine Whites wouldn’t  take advantage of it. Better faux Natives than anyone else.

        As for spirit-peace-nature- blah blah, it’s been a part of European culture since Columbus and, two centuries later, a widespread myth of  a “Noble Savage”. I don’t think the majority of these faux Indians are anti- White, this is just a New Age phase (weed, Castaneda, Mother Earth, ,..), until they realize, to their utter horror, that Black Elk was a Catholic catechist.

      • A lot of White Abos play the same game in Australia.

  • crystal evans

    but don’ t they have to do be members of a federally recognized tribe to claim status as Native American? This usually means that they would have to prove that they have 25% Native American ancestry. The same thing for Alaska Natives.

    • Bardon Kaldian

      Don’t be too legalistic. As they say- it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

    • Anonymous

      The article refers to the 2010 census, not tribal citizenship records. You can claim whatever you want on a census poll.

    • Anonymous

      The requirements vary by tribe.  To be officially Cherokee, for example, you only have to show that a distant ancestor was enrolled in the tribe (might have been a half or quarter-breed).  You can have no detectable Indian “blood” whatsoever.  Some tribes require detectable genetics, but it can be quite low.  One can check the requirements for various tribes on the Internet.

      • Beaumont

        It was kind of an “oral tradition” in my family that my brother and I were 1/32 Cherokee.  I had a genetic test and it said I was 97% Indo-European and 3% Native American. 

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s fair to wonder how much of this “increase” is suburban white kids discovering that grandad once drove past a reservation in Oklahoma & run out get a dreamcatcher or some lame wolf tattoo to celebrate their new “heritage” (and to check a different box on their college application).

    • I was thinking the same thing. If I had a dime for every time I saw some blond hair blue eyed girl driving with a dream catcher hanging from her rear-view mirror I’d be rich. I think it has a bit to do with getting out of white guilt. You call them racist and they can say “hey hey, I’m not racist, I’m Indian, the white man stole my land”.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I’ve ever met a black person that didn’t claim he/she was “part indian.” Ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

     I can recommend an EXCELLEENT book concerning 19the century American Indian history.  It is actually a well documented collection of white captivity reports, something like 72 chosen from historical archives. 

     “A Fate Worse than Death” by the Michno husband and wife historian team is a fierce look at the reality of being white on the Frontier from 1830 to 1885.  I learned of historical events in Texas like “the Runaway Scrape,” where White settlers had to flee to escape the rapacious troops of Mexican General Santa Ana during his sweep through Texas, and the term “Galvanized Yankee,” while I read account after heartbreaking account of abductions of Whites and their sufferings at the hands of the “Noble Savages.” In its conclusion they handily deconstruct recent apologist historical revisions of the 19th century reality.

     I guarantee that you and ALL Amren readers will be glad to have this book in your library and refer to it when you are chastised about how Whites treated Indians in America.

  • Anonymous

      Your paragraph barely makes any readable sense, as it is full of vague and grandiose terms out of cognition with reality.  A sacred oath and agreement with a court of whites?

    The U.S. Constitution is not based on the law and traditions of Indian tribes, it was a document that reflected ideals long cultivated in Western Europe.  This fact is well known by all serious historians.  You are using the word nations to replace “tribes,” in order to fraudulently imply that these venerated Six Nations were practicing some form of modern Democracy with a Congress and ballots before the white man came.

    I can see that you consider yourself Amerind because you use familiar tactics of blurring meanings and projecting non-existent images that makes claims that lack veracity.  An old Indian trick that Marxists also practice.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is nonsense.  All my life I have known people who are Indian – I mean American Indians.  Most were mixed, but a few were reservation Indians.  I live in Washington State now (I grew up in California) and I have never seen Indians hiding their identities or ashamed of being Indian.  What they usually do is complain about the “white man” when you really get to know them.  But the family that my family grew up close to never talked about anything like that, they just were what they were.  Their daughter had a crush on me for years, and since she was older than me, had her way with me when I was 15.  Throughout my long adult life as a bachelor, I dated a number of women who were Amerind.  I have a long term friendship with a woman who is half Cherokee – she was my receptionist at my office for years.

    But what I have noticed is that Amerinds often have problems with manic depression or bipolar disorder.  This makes it very difficult for them to function in white society.  I consider Amerinds very lucky compared to whites as they have huge land reserves they can always retreat to and live for free, hunt and fish to their content, and have a campfire every night if they wish.  They have big pow-wows, talk about how important their culture is.  Whites have nothing like this – at least not any longer as the old lodges like Sons of Norway are all but disappeared.

  • Anonymous

     “Anyone who has some sort of racial identity (knows) it’s a definite struggle,” said Rizzo,”

    What a comment!  What a giveaway of anti-white chauvinism. 

    I guess I must mention this fact for those readers who have forgotten; WHITES HAVE A RACIAL IDENTITY, ITS CALLED WHITE OR CAUCASIAN!