2015 Session 4: Indigenous Resistance and the Colonization of North America

2015 Session 4: Indigenous Resistance and
the Colonization of North America
February 22 – Open Session

Required Readings and Videos

  1. Elizabeth Castle, “‘The Original Gangster’: The Life and Times of Red Power Activist Madonna Thunder Hawk” in Dan Berger, ed., The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism. (9 page PDF: Castle_Madonna_Thunderhawk). (bio)
  2. Andrea Smith, “U. S. Empire and the War Against Native Sovereignty” from Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. (11 page PDF: Smith_US_Empire_and_War_Against_Native_Sovereignty). (bio)
  3. Andrea Smith, “Interview” on Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. (video; starts at 9:25 on Youtube).
  4. Morning Star Gali, “Protecting Sacred Sites,” Snag Magazine no. 8, on Issuu.com. (2 page PDF: Protecting_Sacred_Sites_Morning_Star_Gali). (bio).
  5. Weather Underground Organization, Map from Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism: Political Statement of the Weather Underground. (1 page PDF*: Map of the Tribes and Nations of North America). (bio).
  6. Harsha Walia, “On Anti-Oppression, Decolonization, and Responsible Allyship.” presentation at 2012 PowerShift. (11 min. video Interview recorded at PowerShift Canada 2012, Oct 28 in Ottawa on unceded Algonquin territory). On Youtube.
  7. Review Corrina Gould video from Session 1: “Protecting and Preserving Sacred Sites,” 15 minute video from IntlForum, talk presented at Moana Nui II, Berkeley CA, June 1, 2013. Youtube.com/watch?v=jrrzx4UrBus.
  8. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, one page “Description” of her An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, from Beacon Press. (2014).

Recommended Reading and Videos

  1. Lee Maracle, “Blind Justice” (poem). (5 min video). YouTube.
  2. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, “The Grid of History: Cowboys and Indians” (7 page PDF*: Dunbar-Ortiz_The_Grid_of_History_Cowboys_and_Indians; also at Monthly Review and at the Colours of Resistance web site). (bio).
  3. Winona LaDuke, “The Militarization of Indian Country” (interview) on Democracy Now! (video). (bio)

Further Resources

  1. Paul Chaat Smith and Robert WarriorLike a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee. (The New Press, 1997).

Readings are provided free for use by participants studying in the Anne Braden Training Program for Anti-Racist Organizers, a noncommercial, nonprofit educational program. We encourage everyone to buy the works from which excerpts have been taken – please support these authors and publishers.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth (Beth) Castle is Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of South Dakota. Leaving her cushy job as an academic UC Berkeley, at the encouragement and insistence of Madonna Thunder Hawk, she has joined the front lines of Indian academia and activism. Her book Women Were the Backbone, Men Were the Jawbone: American Indian Women’s Activism in the Red Power Movement was published by Oxford University Press. In 2001 she served as delegate for the Indigenous World Association at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. Described as the “indigenous hillbilly” she takes pride in being a descendent of accused traitors and resistors to colonization from a mixed family of Shawnee women and European immigrant men. Not wishing to be a part of the practice of trading on Native heritage to obtain academic positions, she is content to fight the good fight as a comrade, ally, or secret weapon.  The heart of her work concerns communicating the priorities of indigenous communities to public institutions and creating transformative social change in response to colonization. More at her faculty page.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a longtime activist, university professor, and writer. Her most recent book (2014) is An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. In addition to numerous scholarly books and articles she has published a trilogy of historical memoirs, Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie (Verso, 1997), Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960–1975 (City Lights, 2002), and Blood on the Border: a Memoir of the Contra War (South End Press, 2005). She is also a Catalyst Project advisor. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, daughter of a landless farmer and half-Indian mother. Her paternal grandfather, a white settler, farmer, and veterinarian, 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 was a leading member of the Women’s Liberation and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s.  She worked with the American Indian Movement and continues to struggle for indigenous self-determination and land. More on her own website, www.reddirtsite.com.

Morning Star Gali  (member of the Ajumawi band of the Pit River Tribe in Northeastern California).  Born at the AIM for Freedom Survival School, she was immersed into the Bay Area Indian Community and spent her childhood years attending Hintil Kuu Ca, which originated as the cultural school during the Indians of All Tribe’s takeover of Alcatraz.  She worked for a number of Bay Area Indigenous organizations over the past 10 + years and has been an active community organizer volunteering in the efforts to protect sacred places such as the the Medicine Lake Highlands.  For two years she served as Board Chairperson for the Intertribal Friendship House and currently serves as Vice-Chairperson for Pit River Health Services, Inc.
She works as the Assistant Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Cultural Information Officer for the Pit River Tribe. For the past 3 years she worked as the Community Outreach Liaison for the International Indian Treaty Council, working for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands. She is a rotating host on KPFA 94.1’s Bay Native Circle. She is the proud mother of 3 children.”

Winona LaDuke  (Anishinaabe) is an author, orator and activist. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and life ways of Native communities.LaDuke is founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth, a national advocacy group encouraging public support and funding for native environmental groups.
With Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development, food systems and environmental justice. In her own community in northern Minnesota, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project … and a leader on the issues of culturally-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and food systems. In this work, LaDuke also works to protect Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. LaDuke served as Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential running mate on the Green Party ticket in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections.

Lee Maracle TBA

Andrea Smith is a Cherokee intellectual, feminist, and anti-violence activist. Smith’s work focuses on issues of violence against women of color and their communities, specifically Native American women. Along with Nadine Naber, she cofounded INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence in 2000, and she is a member of INCITE!’s National Planning Committee. INCITE! is a national grassroots organization that engages in direct action and critical dialogue to end violence against women of color and their communities. Smith was also a founding member of the Boarding School Healing Project (BSHP) which “seeks to document Native boarding school abuses so that Native communities can begin healing from boarding school abuses and demand justice.” Smith has worked with Amnesty International as a Bunche Fellow, coordinating the research project on sexual violence and American Indian women. Smith’s Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide won the 2005 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award. She is currently a professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. More at her author page.

Harsha Walia,TBA.

* Note: number of pages refers to pages within the PDF file to provide a sense of the download size, not the number of pages of readings included. Links to external web sites open in a new page.

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