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Running Deer

Chief Running Deer of the Cheyenne.

This article is about Indians in the U.S.M. For Indians in the Confederation of North America, see Indians (C.N.A.).

Indians are one of the five racial groups recognized by Andrew Jackson when he established the United States of Mexico in 1820. Although most of the population of the U.S.M. were native, as opposed to European-descended, Jackson used the term "Indian" to refer specifically to the nomadic tribes inhabiting the northern part of the country who spoke their own native languages. Jackson referred to the settled Indians of Chiapas and Durango, who mostly spoke Spanish, as Mexicanos.

Although he did not regard them as highly as Anglos and Hispanos, Jackson considered the Indians to be good fighters, and encouraged them to join the Mexican army. Several Indians distinguished themselves as military commanders during the Rocky Mountain War, including the Cheyenne Chief Running Deer and Chief Brave Eagle at the Second Battle of Williams Pass.

During the Benito Hermión dictatorship, the Indians of northern Arizona and Mexico del Norte opposed Hermión, and those areas became semi-autonomous. Writing in 1917, the historian Theodore Holmes noted in his essay "The Rainbow Nation" that the U.S.M.'s Indians were drawing apart from the rest of Mexican society. "At one time Indians served in presidential cabinets and rose to high position in the army. Today there is no Indian in Mexico City's political elite, and only 439 Indians serve in the Mexican Army, none above the rank of captain, and all serving in Mexico del Norte and Arizona posts. Only 19.8 percent of qualified Indians voted in the 1914 elections, although encouraged to participate by the government."

The end of Negro Slavery in the U.S.M. in the early 1920s led to many newly-freed slaves emigrating to the Indian-controlled areas of Arizona and Mexico del Norte, where they intermarried with the Indians. By 1960, the mixed-race Indians of those states had developed a literate and intelligent leadership cadre, including James White Eagle, Jefferson Collins, James Dunn, and Robert Red Wing, as well as Assemblyman Franklyn McCabe.