|1.||A member of the indigenous peoples of North America|
|2.||of, relating to, or characteristic of Native Americans or any of their languages|
The descendants of the original inhabitants of North America and South America before the arrival of white settlers from Europe, also called Indians or American Indians. The term Native American is sometimes preferred over Indian because the latter is a misnomer that originated with Columbus, who mistook the inhabitants of America for the people of India. Both terms, however, are accepted.
Note: In recent years, Native American activism has taken the form of calls for the protection of their tribal or ancestral shrines and artifacts.