Nov 05 2014

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States

Now that Halloween is over, store shelves and front porches across the United States are festooned with Thanksgiving-related paraphernalia. In addition to the pumpkins and autumn leaves, images of pilgrims alongside Indigenous Americans pop up, emphasizing the myth of benevolent Indians helping White settlers survive the harsh winters. Lost in the imagery are the deep historical roots of settler colonialism and genocide that the entire United States project is based on.

Attempting to bring that history to the forefront is American Indian activist and scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. In her new book An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz teases out the complex web of intersecting American policies and responses toward Native peoples that include land theft, dispossession, extermination, broken pledges, Christian missionaries, boarding schools, self-determination, resistance, and survival.

Forgoing the standard eras that conventional US history is broken down by, she instead identifies four distinct periods of documented genocidal programs starting with the “Jacksonian era of forced removal,” and culminating in the 1950s termination and relocation policies. Dunbar-Ortiz states that rather than her book being one that is told from a collective indigenous people’s perspective, “This is a history of the United States.”

GUEST: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of a number of books including The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty (1977), Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, 1680-1980, Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self-Determination, Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, and Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, which was first published in 2002

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States”

  1. janusz dziurzynskion 06 Nov 2014 at 12:35 pm

    great programming..I am an almost INDIAN BEING BORN THERE in Karachi in 1944.

  2. janusz dziurzynskion 06 Nov 2014 at 12:36 pm

    great programme

  3. janusz dziurzynskion 06 Nov 2014 at 12:37 pm

    great stuff

  4. janusz dziurzynskion 06 Nov 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I like your programme, i am an almost indian karachi 1944

  5. Vicky Perezon 07 Nov 2014 at 10:26 am

    Such a valuable contribution to the truthfulness of our history. Thank you for this insightful interview- one of the best of many vital interviews!