Unit 5 Destination Discussion - Lummi Nation

Advance Preparation: Please read Chapters Nine and Ten of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States (“U.S. Triumphalism” and “Ghost Dance Prophecy”).

Either in advance of your meeting or as a group, please read this article from Indian Country Today, which shows how the 1950s era of “Termination” in U.S.-Indigenous relations still finds echoes in our contemporary politics.


Dunbar-Ortiz divides the twentieth century history of U.S.-Indigenous relations into three broad eras: 1) The New Deal; 2) Termination; and 3) the Civil Rights/ Great Society era.

  • What, in your understanding, is Dunbar-Ortiz’s overall assessment of the achievements and failures of these three eras?
  • Having read these chapters, what do you think are the noteworthy positive developments in any of these eras?
  • What do you think are some injustices and failures in this recent history that people can learn from today?
  • In light of the article from Indian Country Today, how would you relate these victories and setbacks for Indigenous rights in the twentieth century to debates in our contemporary politics?


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