ChristianBecker wrote: Hm..., but how would I refer to the native inhabitants of a continent several thousand miles west of Europe that is nowadays called America without calling it America or constructing long sentences in which I paraphrase that I mean what is today known as America?
"The Indiginous People of the North American Continent" of course -- the IPNACs! Kidding. The natives never thought of themselves as a nation or as citizens of anything. Each tribe was a nation, as in the Cherokee Nation, the Caddoan Nation (my ancestors). Before it was colonized by Europeans, the continent was populated by many small nations (with boundaries undefined and often in dispute). Many tribes have only one word for the name of their tribe and for "people". The Iroquois and a few groups that are related to them believed (are you ready for this?) the world was on the back of a TURTLE! After they encountered the Europeans, and learned there was more to the world than their land, they referred to North America as Turtle Island. "Nation", Citizen", and the names of countries are political terms deriving from Greek and Roman traditions. The "politically correct" terms like Native Americans, First Peoples, Indiginous Americans, American Aboriginals, and so on never held much weight with the natives. The ones I know personally refer to themselves by their tribal name (Comanche, Lakota, etc), or more generally, as Indians. I wonder what name they would have been given if Columbus et al had not believed they had found the east coast of India.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.