Native America: From Genocide to Resistance
The centuries-long genocidal policies of the U.S. settler-colonial regime has largely been omitted from history. The ferocity and savagery of the U.S. attack on Native Americans is usually turned on its head. The colonists were the victims. They had to defend themselves against the heathens. The sheer hatred for indigenous people manifested in genocide. George Washington called them “beasts.” Jefferson declared, “We will destroy them all.” The notorious Indian killer Andrew Jackson said, “They must disappear.” Jump to Barack Obama who pronounced “America was not born a colonial power.” Really? Native Americans are still here. They have survived. The coalition of many nations resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock was inspiring. Though the pipeline is being built the resistance generated a consciousness and awareness about the situation of indigenous people and land and water issues.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her commitment to social justice issues. She is an award-winning scholar and author of such books as An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, All the Real Indians Died Off and Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment. She is the recipient of the Cultural Freedom Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Lannan Foundation.