Dunbar-Ortiz Analysis

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In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s reexamines the American historical record and moves it passed the typical narratives of colonialism, revolution, and American exceptionalism. Dunbar-Ortiz’s analysis will impact the field of Native Studies and even general United States history with its examination and focus on settler colonialism as a genocidal policy. It is, as Dunbar-Ortiz argues, impossible to write American history without the acknowledgment of Indigenous peoples. Dunbar-Ortiz shatters the myth of “free land” and conquered Natives. She instead focuses on “the absence of a colonial framework (7),” which she believes is the reason that most historians overlook Indigenous history. In other words, historians need to view colonization as an ongoing process and not a …show more content…

Nevertheless, in the author’s note, Dunbar-Ortiz promises to provide a unique perspective that she did not gain from secondary texts, sources, or even her own formal education but rather from outside the academy. Furthermore, in her introduction, she claims her work to “be a history of the United States from an Indigenous peoples’ perspective but there is no such thing as a collective Indigenous peoples’ perspective (13).” She states in the next paragraph that her focus is to discuss the colonist settler state, but the previous statement raises flags for how and why she attempts to write it through an Indigenous perspective. Dunbar-Ortiz appears to anchor herself in this Indian identity but at the same time raises question about Indigenous perspective. Dunbar-Ortiz must be careful not to assume that just because her mother was “most likely Cherokee,” her voice automatically resonates and serves as an Indigenous perspective. These confusing and contradictory statements do raise interesting questions about Indigenous identity that Dunbar-Ortiz should have further examined. Are

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