Virtual Event

Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 7pm PT

WE ARE THE LAND

by WILLIAM J. BAUER JR.

& DAMON B. AKINS

We Are the Land recounts the centrality of the Native presence from before European colonization through statehood—paying particularly close attention to the persistence and activism of California Indians in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

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Before there was such a thing as "California," there were the People and the Land. Manifest Destiny, the Gold Rush, and settler colonial society drew maps, displaced Indigenous People, and reshaped the land, but they did not make California. Rather, the lives and legacies of the people native to the land shaped the creation of California. 

 

We Are the Land is the first and most comprehensive text of its kind, centering the long history of California around the lives and legacies of the Indigenous people who shaped it. Beginning with the ethnogenesis of California Indians, We Are the Land recounts the centrality of the Native presence from before European colonization through statehood--paying particularly close attention to the persistence and activism of California Indians in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The book deftly contextualizes the first encounters with Europeans, Spanish missions, Mexican secularization, the devastation of the Gold Rush and statehood, genocide, efforts to reclaim land, and the organization and activism for sovereignty that built today's casino economy.

 

A text designed to fill the glaring need for an accessible overview of California Indian history, We Are the Land will be a core resource in a variety of classroom settings, as well as for casual readers and policymakers interested in a history that centers the native experience.

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WILLIAM J. BAUER JR.

Author

William J. Bauer, Jr. is an enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research is focused on oral history, labor and California Indian history. He is the author of California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History (University of Washington Press, 2016) and “We Were All Like Migrant Workers Here”: Work, Community, and Memory on California’s Round Valley Reservation, 1850-1941 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).

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DAMON B. AKINS

Author

Damon Akins is an associate professor of history at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he teaches Native American and environmental history. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he taught high school for a number of years in Los Angeles.