By Xela Vargas
Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. join City College in welcoming notable alumna, activist, academic, and published author Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publishing of her book, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States.
November marks Native American Heritage Month honoring the richness of indigenous history in the United States, a history long obfuscated, and erased. In her book, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Dunbar Ortiz rewrites the narrative, correcting history to include indigenous narratives, a space in which they have been long excluded from, and misrepresented in. It traces American colonialism, and colonialism as a whole, which seeks to control the narrative of indigenous peoples, and to control the process of writing history to justify oppression, displacement and erasure. It is seen throughout history, and can be seen to this day. The book not only recontextualizes American history, but also explains the rich and complex nature of Native history. It is not a simple story of peace, harmony, and theft – the book reintroduces agency to Native history through stories of power struggle, allyship, and survival.
Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, originally from Oklahoma, moved to San Francisco in the 1960s and not long after arriving and landing her first job, she enrolled at City College. In a 2022 appeal to the city to vote Yes on Prop O, a parcel tax to fund the City College, Dunbar Ortiz described the college as a “beautiful jewel of a campus.” She described that time as “allow[ing her] as a working-class person to pursue a career in higher education”.
Attend on Nov. 16 via Zoom to learn more about the history of indigenous people and the legacy of City College as it provides opportunities for iconic folks such as Dunbar Ortiz to realize their potential, and to pave the way for a bright future of lifelong learning, and success.