Here's a question, or rather speculation I'd like some input on. We've all heard that Native Americans were named Indians because of Columbus' erroneous belief he reached India. Then I read an Oglala Sioux writer state that it was the Spanish term for the native people as "Niños en Dios" that was shortened to "Indios" which became the commonly used term. Well, I understand that the term "Indegenos" is used in HispanoAmerica to describe the indigenous peoples. Have any of you heard of any theory that it was the word "Indegenos" which could have been the rootword of "Indian" or is it just me alone who's come up with this wild speculation?
The origin of the word "Indian" for describing Native Americans
the majority of American Indians/Native Americans believe it is acceptable to use either term, or both. Many have also suggested leaving such general terms behind in favor of specific tribal designations. As the publisher and editor of The Navajo Times, the largest Native Americanowned weekly newspaper, puts it, "I . . . would rather be known as, 'Tom Arviso Jr., a member of the Navajo tribe,' instead of 'Arviso, a Native American or American Indian.' This gives an authentic description of my heritage, rather than lumping me into a whole race of people."
You can read much more about it here.
Cristobal Colon died believing that he had discovered and colonized the Indies (the Asian territory) instead of a new continent. So the natives were called "indios" because of that. wiki
Makes the word 'Indian' more politically correct!