Native americans or the indigenous peoples of the americas are the pre columbian inhabitants of north and south america and their descendants those who live within the boundaries of the present day united states are composed of numerous distinct tribes bands and ethnic groups many of which survive as intact sovereign nations. A 1995 us census bureau survey found that more native americans in the united states preferred american indian to native american most american indians are comfortable with indian american indian and native american and the terms are often used interchangeably. West indian americans or caribbean americans are americans who can trace their recent ancestry to the caribbean unless they are of native descentas of 2016 about 3019686 people residing in the united states 0934 of the total us population have west indian ancestry. The names native americans and american indians are used interchangeably on this website to describe americas first inhabitants in many cases indians is a proper name or title such as in american indian movement or bureau of indian affairs the name indian was used traditionally in american culture and history. Native americans began to lose power as leaders and followers abandoned the great plains a paiute indian stated that if indians performed a dance paradise would appear no suffering would take place and life would return to its ways before settlers arrived this was named the ghost dance
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