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Indigenous

While an official definition of Indigenous is not agreed on, the United Nations has developed an understanding of the term based on self-identification, historical continuity to pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies, links to territories and resources, distinct social, economic and political systems and possession of distinct languages, cultures and beliefs. In the case of the United States, tribal membership or citizenship denotes Indigenous identity. These factors make the words Indigenous and Aboriginal identities, not adjectives, and NAJA urges outlets to capitalize these terms in order to avoid confusion between indigenous plants and animals and Indigenous human beings. Finally, avoid referring to Indigenous people as possessions of states or countries. Instead of Wyoming’s Indigenous people try the Indigenous people of Wyoming. [There are an estimated 370 million Indigenous peoples worldwide, living in 70 different countries, according to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.]

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