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HGS 527/747 - Native American Genocides

This course examines what Americans and Canadians used to call "the Indian problem," or the historical and contemporary threats against the existence of this continent's Onkwehonwe (which is an Iroquoian term meaning "original people"). We begin by defining the basic vocabulary of the course, including Indigenous peoples, colonialism, and genocide, before reviewing important concepts and theories in the field of genocide studies and prevention, Indigenous rights discourse, and Holocaust memory. Next, we examine several case studies, including colonial New England, the Trail of Tears, the founding of California and Oregon, the extermination of the buffalo, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the Canadian Indian residential school system. Finally, we reflect on the ways in which such injustices are forgotten, remembered, and negotiated through law and politics.