Often times in order to reduce confusion between the usage of the many terms of aboriginal persons, i use the all encompassing term of red skin or red indian.
Virtually everyone in the world knows what this means and there is little confusion as to the reference. Where as indian can be confused with east indians and native can mean a plethora of indigenous people throughout the world from zulus to maori.
However red indian is quite clear in its meaning. I also figure that by using the word we( by this i mean the red indians) are in effect empowering the word. Much like the experience of the african americans or african europeans and thier empowerment of the "N word"
It has gotten to the point now where many non african people will refuse to use the word. Which i think is quite a good thing especially when you think about its original meaning and usage. By that i mean a word with implications of showing superiority of one culture upon another and the associated identification of a ethnic groups skin color.
My problem in all of this is that i got more of my fathers british genes and look quite white. Thus i get quite wierd looks when i refer to our people as red skins when i am not of that color ( except in the summer when i look more spanish or meztizo than anything)
However, i was brought up in the culture and lived on a reservation. So there is as much validity in my thinking, as my critics thinking. SO leave it at that