The Master Narrative refers to a Eurocentric view of “American History.” While the agents of this story are Europeans (and White Americans), the history, experiences, and contributions of non-whites are de-centered – and erased – from the story we tell about the development of North America. Whose story we tell influences our social consciousness: how we think of ourselves as individuals and a nation/continent.
This course in many ways is a Counter-Narrative to the story we are taught about American History. The aim of a counter-narrative is the liberation of group consciousness: an awareness of a need for more inclusion of marginalized stories at the center of the plot of a nation’s history. This lecture is a great place to lay a foundation for a new narrative about our shared history as American(a/o)s.
As a concept in action, “indigenization” identifies opportunities for native “existence” – escape from extermination and persistent cultural resilience – to be expressed at the center of our shared narrative. Think of a narrative not as a telling of the “truth” but as a strategy. In this way, at any point in their plot development, one may argue, a narrative contains more ideology than Truth. As a strategy of domination, narratives are often used to subjugate or exterminate others not by what they reveal but what is left unsaid/silent.
Unlike White Supremacy, the indigenization of a counter-narrative treats indigenous worldviews, knowledge and perspectives as valid. When possible, it incorporates Indigenous ways of knowing and doing. By applying the indigenization of American History, this lecture reviews some of the earliest civilizations and societies in “American” history.
Begin to think and think again
You have a mind; what’s it thinking?
Instructions: Select one (1) course concept above and write 100+ words addressing the following:
Define what the concept means in your own words
Think of a useful description or example of the concept
Create your own reason that explains why this concept is significant to Ethnic Studies
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