Retrieving the Red Continent: Settler colonialism and the history of American Indians in the US

Frederick E. Hoxie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While present in the contemporary academy, American Indian history remains marginalized by being associated with regional and national histories of the United States. Recently, postcolonial scholarship has provided a pathway out of that marginalization. The postcolonial critique of traditional anthropological and historical writing about indigenous peoples suggests a new way to imagine the relationship between American Indian history and other areas of scholarship. The most promising aspect of this critique is the formulation of 'settler colonialism'. That framework first emerged among geographers and has recently been embraced by historians and anthropologists. The settler colonial framework offers a way to conceive of the Native past in a transnational context as well as to understand indigenous encounters with modernity as an ongoing struggle with colonial rule rather than as a campaign to accommodate Native people to 'progress' and 'civilization' or to 'assimilate' them into a nation state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1167
Number of pages15
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • American Indians
  • Assimilation
  • Nationalism
  • Postcolonialism
  • Settler colonialism
  • Sovereignty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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