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Native American history


  • "Two-Spirit" Visibility and the Year Activists Rewrote History

    by Gregory D. Smithers

    In 1990, a group of Native activists coined the term "Two-Spirits" to encompass a variety of people who embodied masculine and feminine traits in indigenous communities, replacing colonizers' terminology that emphasized shame or deviance. Marginalized communities change their history by changing who tells their story, and how. 



  • What Does Pope Francis's Apology Mean to Indigenous Americans?

    by Annie Selak

    "Pope Francis apologized on April 1, 2022, to First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations, acknowledging the harm done by residential schools in Canada and marking a crucial step in the church admitting its role in the abuse of Indigenous communities and children."



  • Texas's Anti-Transgender Policies Erase the State's Indigenous Transgender History

    by Gregory D. Smithers

    The prominent role of what would now be called transgender individuals in indigenous societies in Texas was part of the justification Europeans claimed to colonize the land; students compelled to learn Texas history in school could learn a much more inclusive set of stories. 



  • Review: The Afterlife of Black Hawk

    by David Roediger

    A suppressed history of conquest and expulsion pervades the state of Illinois; A new book seeks to recover it.   



  • Salt and Deep History in the Ohio Country

    by Annabel LaBrecque

    American expansion into the Ohio Valley was built upon a long natural and indigenous history of salt resources that formed the geography of the territory in obvious and surprising ways. 



  • Native on TV in 2021

    by Liza Black

    "Where 20th- and early 21st-century shows used Native characters in superficial ways, perhaps to create an appearance of diversity, Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls center Indigenous characters, themes, and content, decolonizing conventional television narratives about Native people."


  • The Value of a "Greater Chaco" National Park

    by Richard Moe

    President Biden's decision to create a buffer zone around the Chaco Culture National Park protects not just a natural landscape but a potentially priceless trove of yet-to-be discovered artifacts and sites sacred to Native people today. 



  • Nevada Governor Apologizes for State's Role in Indigenous Schools

    "Descendants of Paiute, Washoe and Shoshone people who attended the Stewart School during the 90 years it was in operation told stories of bounties being offered to bring Native children to the school; of students attempting to run away due to starvation; and of extreme overcrowding in dormitories."


  • Honoring Memory of the Sand Creek Massacre in the Age of COVID

    by Billy J. Stratton

    The community of descendants of the Sand Creek Massacre maintain rituals of healing that honor the dead while affirming bonds of community that have been tested by a long history of dispossession and the recent trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic.



  • The Storm over the American Revolution

    by Eric Herschthal

    By shoehorning his recent book on the Revolutionary War into the space of the debate about slavery and the founding, critics of Woody Holton are missing important points about the importance of indigenous land to the founding and the global context of colonial independence.



  • What Slavery Looked Like in the West

    by Kevin Waite

    "Historians typically study Black and Native slavery as discrete systems. But America’s wealthiest slaveholders didn’t draw a fixed line."



  • Are Native Land Acknowledgments Empty Gestures?

    by Graeme Wood

    Too often, says Atlantic writer Graeme Wood, the rote ackowledgment by a speaker that an event is taking place on land historically occupied by an indigenous people is an empty gesture that short-circuits discussion of Native demands.



  • Rethinking Afro-Indigenous History in the United States

    by Kyle T. Mays

    A historian argues for rethinking the cultural practices of enslaved Africans and their encounters with Native Americans by considering that both were, in a sense, "indigenous" resistance to the European settler-colonialist agenda.