I’m writing a paper, and was looking for a clear way to define “Indian Country” for my non-Native professor who is not well versed in Indian issues, so I googled.
Dictionary.com told me:
–noun (esp. during the U.S. westward migration) any region where one was likely to encounter Indians, esp. hostile Indians.
“especially hostile Indians”? Seriously? in 2010, the accepted definition of “Indian Country” is a place where one is likely to encounter hostile Indians? The use of past tense is nice too, since we all know Indian Country is a mythical place that only existed during westward expansion. Really?
Dictionary.com definition of Indian Country: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Indian+country