Date: 03-Oct-2005 From: Paul Fallon <pfallonumw.edu> Subject: Origin of Term 'redskin'
The October 3rd Washington Post contains an article on page A3 by Guy Gugliotta on Algonquian linguist Ives Goddard's research on the origin of the term 'redskin', along with reaction from Native American activists who oppose the current use of the term.
An extract: 'Smithsonian Institution senior linguist Ives Goddard spent seven months researching its history and concluded that 'redskin' was first used by Native Americans in the 18th century to distinguish themselves from the white 'other' encroaching on their lands and culture.
'When it first appeared as an English expression in the early 1800s, 'it came in the most respectful context and at the highest level,' Goddard said in an interview. 'These are white people and Indians talking together, with the white people trying to ingratiate themselves.'
Goddard also claims that the earliest citation (used in the OED) is a fake. Goddard's scholarly article appears in the European Review of Native American Studies.
The Washington Post article is available (with free registration) for two weeks from the date of publication.