>>>Do you mean Eskimos, or Alaskan Na-Dene Indians, distant cousins of the Apache and Navajo?<<<
Up here, the Indians in the Alaskan Interior are Athabascans. Most who attend our school are Koyukon or Gwitchin, although there are few Ahtna people here and there. The Eskimos are more properly known as Yup’ik, Chup’ik, or Inupiaq - all of which mean “the real people” or “the human beings” in their languages.
I’m Jewish, which means that I get to play with xenophobic Native snottiness when it comes up. For instance: I once had this kid tell me (in class), “Our culture is 10,000 years old.” I smiled and responded, “It’s nice to see that someone else has been around as long as the Jews.” This same kid then said a few hours later, “White people push us around,” to which I respond, “Yeah, the same thing happened to us.”
For my son, who is half Italian, we go far out of our way to make sure he know that he has a proud tradition, too - Romans, Italians, the good things done by the Catholics.
I also go way, way out of my way to uphold and praise American culture, especially the concepts of rule of law, limited government, and God-given rights. When we’ve read Solzhenitsyn in class (”One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”), one of the local sidelights we explore is what would have happened to Alaskan Native people if this place was still Russian America under the control of the Communists. Suddenly those sad little moments in the BIA schools long ago seem like a minor problem compared to what could have happened.
We're talking about the same thing, per the Wiki article on Athabaskan (Athabascan, Athapaskan). Their article says the Ahtna dialect is one of the most conservative and closest to "Proto-Athabaskan".
I noticed that the Kiowa Apache (term in use as recently as 20 years ago) are now called "Plains Apache".
Its nice to see that someone else has been around as long as the Jews.
Hmm, I figure about 4200 since Avram left Ur of the Chaldees for Canaan .... figure a couple hundred more, since the Amoritic Habiru and their kinsmen the Shubiru of hated name, who were so abashed by the ill repute of their tribal name that they took instead the name of their tutelary god Ashur, came up out of the slowly desertifying Arabian Peninsula (once truly "Arabia Felix" and "the land of milk and honey"), to be reviled by the settled Akkadians of Bab-Ili ("Gate of God") as "the hateful Amurru".
So figure 4500 years, tops.
For my son, who is half Italian, we go far out of our way to make sure he know that he has a proud tradition, too.....
Goes back to about the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, when the Proto-Italic people lived in Pannonia, in the Plains of Hungary, speaking real Proto-Italic before it became differentiated, about the time they decided to cross the Alps and descend into Italy. (The name "Vitellius", btw, is Italic, = Lat. "Italus". And further back I think I saw an etymology having to do with young bulls.)
Yes, they "did good", too. <cue Miklos Rozsa>