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.
About the Author
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother, and has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades. She is the author or editor of eight other books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, which was a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. Dunbar-Ortiz lives in San Francisco.
Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is an award-winning journalist and columnist at Indian Country Today Media Network. A writer and researcher in Indigenous studies, she is currently a research associate and associate scholar at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. She lives in San Clemente, CA.
“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.”
“‘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