Reservations, Thanksgiving and More: Natives React to 5 Famous 'NDN' Words

Real Native Americans react to popular 'Indian' words such as 'reservation,' 'thanksgiving,' and 'redskins.'

WatchCut Video, a weekly series on YouTube, recently featured Native Americans in five episodes. The participants in the videos were asked to do word associations. They were asked to describe the R-word, Christopher Columbus, Reservation, Thanksgiving, and Language using just one word.

The first video has Natives respond to the R-word. Responses included “derogatory,” “outdated,” “profiling,” and “racist.

The second word Natives responded to was “Christopher Columbus.” Some words used in the video were “evil,” “invader,” “ignorance,” “rapist,” “murderer,” and “genocide.”

The next word given to the group was “reservation.” Responses included “bleak,” “oppression,” “small,” and “sad.”

“Thanksgiving” was the next word the group had to associate. The day was described as “inaccurate,” “colonization,” and “lies,” but many of the respondents said “family.”

Finally, what did the Native participants say when asked to associate the word “language?” Some of the responses included “important,” “vital,” “sacred,” “culture,” and “forgotten.”

What word would you use to describe each?

This story was originally published December 6, 2015.