Project to review the names of indigenous groups

March 7, 2023 -- HAPI is pleased to announce the start of a project to review the names of indigenous groups in the index. Typically, we rely on the US Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) when establishing the terms we use to describe article subjects in HAPI, including the names used for indigenous groups. Some of these LCSH indigenous names are now considered outdated or even pejorative; some LCSH headings have been updated over the years but HAPI’s terminology remains outdated. We’re undertaking a project to systematically review our subject headings for needed updates and to reflect the indigenous group’s preferred self-denomination (or autonym) when known. For example, the people sometimes known as Cayapo (LCSH) or Kayapó (HAPI) call themselves the Mebêngôkre. HAPI’s subject heading will be updated to the latter in deference to the group’s autonym.

The project is currently in its pilot stage, as we investigate best practices and develop a process that respects the complex history and current realities of indigenous groups in Latin America and the Caribbean. We hope to contact indigenous groups directly where feasible or, when necessary, rely on research findings that identify autonyms. UCLA MLIS student Amanda Martínez, with support from the Latin American Institute’s Title VI funding, will be the project coordinator.

We will be maintaining a publicly-available running list of changes throughout the life of the project. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback on the list or with any other questions or comments at