An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
There are more than five hundred federally recognized indigenous communities and nations comprising nearly three million people in the United States today. These Peoples are the descendants of the once fifteen million people who inhabited this land, and the subject of the latest book by noted historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxanne challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the indigenous peoples was genocidal and imperialist, and designed to crush the original inhabitants.
For a span of more than three hundred years, this classic bottom-up history significantly reframes how we view our past. Told from the viewpoint of the indigenous, it reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the U.S. empire. ISBN 978-080807057834. Paperback.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a landless farmer and half-Indian mother. Her paternal grandfather, a white settler, had been a labor activist and Socialist in Oklahoma with the Industrial Workers of the World in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The stories of her grandfather inspired her to lifelong social justice activism.
She has lived in San Francisco since she was 18, and graduated from San Francisco State College, majoring in history and transferring to University of California, Los Angeles to complete her doctorate in History. Roxanne took a position teaching in a newly established Native American Studies program at California State University at Hayward, near San Francisco, and helped develop the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as Women’s Studies. In 1974, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights.
In 1981, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was asked to visit Sandinista Nicaragua to appraise the land tenure situation of the Miskitu Indians in the northeastern region of the country. In over a hundred trips to Nicaragua and Honduras from 1981 to 1989, she monitored what was called the Contra War.