When Christofer Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in 1492 he believed he had reached the Indies which he had originally set out to reach.Originally Posted by Kentukyfried
This lead him to call the people he encountered there Indians, and it's also the reason the Caribbean is sometimes referred to as the West Indies.
The reason they are now known as Native Americans instead of Indians, is due to an attempt by the US Government to recognize their primacy of tenure.
It was also used by people who wanted to get rid of the stereotypes attached to 'Indians' at the time and to find a more accurate name for the indigenous peoples.
(You brought out the educator in me <.<)