To be an autochthonous resident of an area is to be a native to that area rather than the descendants of immigrants or other non-natives. For instance, Native Americans are autochthonous residents of the American continents, as opposed to the other racial and ethnic groups who are the descendants of peoples native to Europe, Africa, or Asia.This type of differentiation has historically led to deep cultural divides that are based on the mutual misunderstandings of the cultural underpinnings of other cultures. An example of this which we are all familiar with is the ongoing strife in the Americas following Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean.

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