BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘An Indigenous People Of The US’ by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, host of the long-running Book Stew, a video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, authors, playwrights, and even a cat who survived a tornado and wrote a book about it.

An Indigenous People Of The Us by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

This is a textbook example of what a textbook for a course in “What Your Teachers Never Taught You About Native Americans” would be.

The focus on the “Doctrine of Discovery,” which served as the justification for stealing and profiting from the confiscation and sales of tribal lands, is sobering. Another revelation is the creation of the “Rangers,” the Indian fighters who were the forbearers of our modern military – “In Country,” AKA Indian Country, as used in Vietnam to indicate anti-guerilla warfare against the inhabitants of the land.

The relationship of Indian people to their lands and to the animals they managed was never as owners, but as stewards and protectors. The continued oppressive activities, including the theft of children and their placement into boarding schools (similar to the Magdelene Laundries of Ireland), are horrifying, and reparations equal to the level of harm done are difficult to imagine.

My reading and discussion of this book were sponsored by the Social Justice Book Club hosted by Brad McKenna at the Wilmington Memorial Library.

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