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Nick Estes: “Our History is the Future”
In this Theory from the Margins event, we discuss Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance with Nick Estes, Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico.
In 2016, a small protest encampment at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, initially established to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, grew to be the largest Indigenous protest movement in the twenty-first century. Water Protectors knew this battle for native sovereignty had already been fought many times before, and that, even after the encampment was gone, their anticolonial struggle would continue. In Our History Is the Future, Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. Our History Is the Future is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Estes is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is an Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, he co-founded The Red Nation, an Indigenous resistance organization. For 2017-2018, Estes was the American Democracy Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. His research engages colonialism and global Indigenous histories, with a focus on decolonization, oral history, U.S. imperialism, environmental justice, anti-capitalism, and the Oceti Sakowin. Estes is a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a network of Indigenous writers committed to defend and advance Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota) sovereignty, cultures, and histories. Estes is the author of the book Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019), which places into historical context the Indigenous-led movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. He edited with Jaskiran Dhillon the forthcoming volume Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement (University of Minnesota, 2019), which draws together more than thirty contributors, including leaders, scholars, and activists of the Standing Rock movement. He was a guest editor with Melanie K. Yazzie of a special issue of Wicazo Sa Review (Spring 2016) on the legacy of Dakota scholar Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, one of the founders of American Indian Studies.