An Indigenous People’s History of the United States

AC Spotlight Series: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

The American Cultures Center proudly presents its first AC Book Series featuring:

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Introduction by Dr. Leece Lee, Ethnic Studies, Mills College

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 5-7pm
Ethnic Studies Library
30 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2360

About the Book: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples: Today, in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized indigenous communities and nations comprising nearly three million people. These individuals are the descendants of the once fifteen million people who inhabited this land and are the subject of the latest book by noted historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States,Dunbar-Ortizchallenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the indigenous peoples was genocidal and imperialist—designed to crush the original inhabitants. Spanning more than three hundred years, this classic bottom-up history significantly reframes how we perceive our past. Told from the perspective of the indigenous, it reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.  Beacon Press, September 2014
Front Cover of Peoples' History of the United States
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

About Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: Roxanne grew up in rural Oklahoma, daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother.  Her historical memoir,Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie, tells that story.  She completed a doctorate in History at UCLA, specializing the colonization of the Western Hemisphere and Indigenous Nations’ histories.  From 1967 to 1972, she was a full time activist and a leader in the women's liberation movement.  Her Outlaw Woman: Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975, tells that story.  In 1973, Roxanne joined the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights, lobbying for Indigenous rights at the United Nations. Her first book, The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation, was the fundamental document at the first international conference, which she helped organize, on Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, held at United Nations' headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1977: the book was published in a new edition by University of Nebraska Press in 2013.  Invited to Sandinista Nicaragua to appraise the land tenure situation of the Mískitu Indians she made over a hundred trips to Nicaragua and Honduras during the 1980s, a story told in her book, Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War. A Professor Emerita at California State University East Bay, she co-founded the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Women's Studies Program. She is the author of Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico; Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self-Determination, and An Indigenous Peoples' history of the United States.

About Leece Lee-Oliver: Leece (Blackfeet/Cherokee) is a scholar and activist whose work is dedicated to understanding how the histories of racialization and heteronormativity undergird American nationalism, its multiplicity of phenomenologies and structures, and American modes of western expansion today. In its broadest engagement, Leece’s work examines the roots of anti-“Indian” and anti-“Black” racism, the advent of “racist misogyny,” and forms of Decolonialism that shape Native American, Indigenous, and Third World activisms worldwide. Leece is currently working on her first book, which follows an historical timeline to examine the role of “racialized misogyny” in the early discourses of American nation formation and consider the roots and implications of state sanctioned violence against Native American female and queer peoples. Featuring key Native American women whose activism engages an ethic of “revolutionary love,” each chapter highlights their life-affirming and counter-insurgent practices and legacies that became part-and-parcel of the political activism of Native American women today. Leece received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies/Native American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.