What makes someone Indigenous?

pema href="https://theconversation.com/us/topics/curious-kids-us-74795"Curious Kids/a is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to a href="mailto:curiouskidsus@theconversation.com"curiouskidsus@theconversation.com/a./em/p hr blockquote pstrongWhat makes someone Indigenous? – Artie, age 9, Astoria, New York/strong/p /blockquote hr p“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” /p pYou may have heard that in school. The rhyme makes it easier to remember that 1492 was the year when an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Christopher-Columbus/The-first-voyage"set sail from Spain/a and landed in a chain of islands near modern-day Florida called the “West Indies.”/p pEuropeans called the enormous land mass that we now know as North and South America the “New World” because, before the very late 15th century, nobody on the east side of the Atlantic Ocean even knew it existed. A few Viking explorers had reached the Americas hundreds of years earlier, but a href="https://kids.britannica.com/students/article/early-exploration-of-the-Americas/543490"little is known/a about their visits./p pFrom Europeans’ standpoint, Columbus had discovered something new. But for millions of Native, or Indigenous, people who already lived there, a href="https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/1492/america.html"the “New World” wasn’t new at all/a. /p h2Connected to place/h2 pIn the most basic terms, whether a person or a group of people is Indigenous comes down to a href="https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/5session_factsheet1.pdf"where their ancestors lived and how long they lived there/a. /p pPeople are considered Indigenous to a certain place when their ancestors existed and thrived in that place since time immemorial – basically, for longer than anyone can remember, or before people started keeping written historical records. /p pIndigenous peoples are the original inhabitants of a certain area. Their villages and territories were the first ones to be established in a particular place and were around long before modern cities, states or countries existed. /p