This is hard to answer because this has been disputed for as long as I can remember by both sides. So not everyone is going to agree with me on this. So I’d like my followers to reply with feedback as well. And if your opinion is different from mine, that’s totally fine. I’d just love for you to share. (And try not to be an asshole about it. Debating things is fine, but I’ll respect you more if it’s done without profanity & rudeness.)
Aztecs and Toltec cultures, language, and beliefs are quite different from the (U.S.) Southwestern Tribes - (i.e. Pueblo tribes, Apache, Commanche, Shoshone and many others active and extinct). To say that modern day Mexican mestizos and Mexican Indians are one and the same as the Native tribes of the U.S. is somewhat ignorant.
Mexican race began when the Spanish arrived in Mexco, they intermarried with the Natives of Mexico. But as time went by, they built a Nation and purposely distinguished themselves separately from Native Americans.
Saying that Mexicans are Native American Indians is a bit like someone saying that Brazilians are Colombian.
Native Americans and Mexicans never really got along and they speak different languages.
The Southwest’s Apache warrior Chief Geronimo was proud to have killed so many Mexicans after they brutally killed his wife, his children, and his mother.
Also, The Southwest’s Apache language is not Spanish, Mexican (Aztec). The Apache language is part of the Athabaskan (Na-Dene) Language Family which is spoken from California to Alaska. Not anywhere in Mexico.