"All the Real Indians Died Off"

And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans

Look inside
Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans

In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as:

“Columbus Discovered America”
“Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims”
“Indians Were Savage and Warlike”
“Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians”
“The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide”
“Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans”
“Most Indians Are on Government Welfare”
“Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich”
“Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol”

Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, “All the Real Indians Died Off” challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and is the author or editor of many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. She lives in San Francisco. Connect with her at reddirtsite.com or on Twitter @rdunbaro. View titles by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Authors’ Note

Introduction

MYTH 1: “All the Real Indians Died Off”

MYTH 2: “Indians Were the First Immigrants to the Western Hemisphere”

MYTH 3: “Columbus Discovered America”

MYTH 4: “Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed the Pilgrims”

MYTH 5: “Indians Were Savage and Warlike”

MYTH 6: “Indians Should Move On and Forget the Past”

MYTH 7: “Europeans Brought Civilization to the Backward Indians”

MYTH 8: “The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide”

MYTH 9: “US Presidents Were Benevolent or at Least Fair-Minded Toward Indians”

MYTH 10: “The Only Real Indians Are Full-Bloods, and They Are Dying Off”

MYTH 11: “The United States Gave Indians Their Reservations”

MYTH 12: “Indians Are Wards of the State”

MYTH 13: “Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans”

MYTH 14: “Native American Culture Belongs to All Americans”

MYTH 15: “Most Indians Are on Government Welfare”

MYTH 16: “Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich”

MYTH 17: “Indians Are Anti-Science”

MYTH 18: “Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcoholism”

MYTH 19: “What’s the Problem with Thinking of Indian Women as Princesses or Squaws?”

MYTH 20: “Native Americans Can’t Agree on What to Be Called”

MYTH 21: “Indians Are Victims and Deserve Our Sympathy”

Historical Time Line

Acknowledgments

Notes
“Dunbar-Ortiz and Gilio-Whitaker admirably aim to explode popular, damaging, and inherently limiting myths about Native Americans, continuing the work begun in Dunbar-Ortiz’s well-received An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.”
Publishers Weekly

‘All the Real Indians Died Off’ And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans offers a much-needed and excellent introduction to American Indian history and contemporary life for a broad audience.”
Against the Current

“I have been looking for a text for our Intro to Native American Studies course that touches on the themes of history, genocide, cultural appropriation, and legal relationship between the United States and indigenous people that would be comprehensible by freshmen. I have finally found it...I cannot wait to teach it.”
—Kerri J. Malloy, lecturer in the Department of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University

About

Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans

In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as:

“Columbus Discovered America”
“Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims”
“Indians Were Savage and Warlike”
“Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians”
“The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide”
“Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans”
“Most Indians Are on Government Welfare”
“Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich”
“Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol”

Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, “All the Real Indians Died Off” challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.

Author

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and is the author or editor of many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. She lives in San Francisco. Connect with her at reddirtsite.com or on Twitter @rdunbaro. View titles by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Table of Contents

Authors’ Note

Introduction

MYTH 1: “All the Real Indians Died Off”

MYTH 2: “Indians Were the First Immigrants to the Western Hemisphere”

MYTH 3: “Columbus Discovered America”

MYTH 4: “Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed the Pilgrims”

MYTH 5: “Indians Were Savage and Warlike”

MYTH 6: “Indians Should Move On and Forget the Past”

MYTH 7: “Europeans Brought Civilization to the Backward Indians”

MYTH 8: “The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide”

MYTH 9: “US Presidents Were Benevolent or at Least Fair-Minded Toward Indians”

MYTH 10: “The Only Real Indians Are Full-Bloods, and They Are Dying Off”

MYTH 11: “The United States Gave Indians Their Reservations”

MYTH 12: “Indians Are Wards of the State”

MYTH 13: “Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans”

MYTH 14: “Native American Culture Belongs to All Americans”

MYTH 15: “Most Indians Are on Government Welfare”

MYTH 16: “Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich”

MYTH 17: “Indians Are Anti-Science”

MYTH 18: “Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcoholism”

MYTH 19: “What’s the Problem with Thinking of Indian Women as Princesses or Squaws?”

MYTH 20: “Native Americans Can’t Agree on What to Be Called”

MYTH 21: “Indians Are Victims and Deserve Our Sympathy”

Historical Time Line

Acknowledgments

Notes

Praise

“Dunbar-Ortiz and Gilio-Whitaker admirably aim to explode popular, damaging, and inherently limiting myths about Native Americans, continuing the work begun in Dunbar-Ortiz’s well-received An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.”
Publishers Weekly

‘All the Real Indians Died Off’ And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans offers a much-needed and excellent introduction to American Indian history and contemporary life for a broad audience.”
Against the Current

“I have been looking for a text for our Intro to Native American Studies course that touches on the themes of history, genocide, cultural appropriation, and legal relationship between the United States and indigenous people that would be comprehensible by freshmen. I have finally found it...I cannot wait to teach it.”
—Kerri J. Malloy, lecturer in the Department of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University

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