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Author Topic: More Latinos identify as Native American, census shows  (Read 186 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 02, 2011, 12:11:20 PM »

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(CNN) -- When Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard filled out her census form last year, she checked the box for Latino, and for the first time, she also checked the box for Native American.

It had taken her more than 30 years -- plus research and genetic testing -- to discover her ties to the indigenous Taínos of Puerto Rico, to claim her identity and re-learn what she thought she knew of her history.
 
She's not the only one. Since 2000, the number of Hispanics who identified themselves as Native American grew from 407,073 to 685,150, according to the 2010 census.
....
Some attribute the increase to immigration from parts of North and South America where there are large indigenous populations. In some cases, it's because of recently discovered ties to native cultures.
....
Despite diminished numbers -- the Taíno population decreased from 8 million in 1492 to 20,000 in 1520 to 200 in 1560 -- the Taíno culture has survived and is still present in the language today, said Jose Barreiro, assistant director for research at the National Museum of the American Indian.

"I am originally from Cuba, and I like to say to my fellow Cubans that Cuba is a Taíno word," Barreiro said. "They have no idea that when they say the word Cuba, they are speaking Taíno. It means 'big land, well-planted.' "
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