Adding narratives to U.S. history could build a richer, more honest look at America's past. A new book, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History, by Ned Blackhawk, creates a fresh look at our country's story by adding Indigenous lives and experiences to the dialogue, reports Jeniece Roman of WSHU-FM in Connecticut.

Blackhawk, a professor of history and American studies at Yale University and a member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada, developed the text for his pupils. He told Roman, "In these long years of teaching Native American history, I've really always felt like there wasn't a sufficient kind of common text or interpretive work to offer my students." Roman reports, "Blackhawk said his generation has confronted the absence of the Indigenous perspective in education. . . [which was] largely erased or ignored in the broader American educational system. . . . However, in the past decade, Blackhawk has seen a proliferation of academic scholarship that he calls 'The Rediscovery of America.' It's what inspired him to write the book."

"I didn't formally decide to craft this narrative until relatively recently in my career," Blackhawk told Roman. "But I've been thinking about it a long time." Roman explains: "Blackhawk began teaching in 2009 at the University of Wisconsin. He began research during a 2017-2018 fellowship for early American history at the University of Pennsylvania. It's when he unknowingly began writing the first chapters of what is now his book. . . . Blackhawk said scholarly findings from the past decade have provided more detail on Native American history. It inspired him to compile those findings for a larger audience. He said questions and conversations about U.S. history and the Native perspective have been brewing in the academic world and the mainstream."

"We've come to a point in our nation's history where we are perhaps really for the first time positioned to have a national conversation about the history of this community in respect of Indigenous or Native American population," Blackhawk told Roman. She writes, "Blackhawk said writing the book was a challenge because of the enormity of the subject. History has, at times, been shrouded by erasure and disrespect. He said it inhibits people from understanding how central Indigenous people are to the making of the U.S. and its communities. He hopes readers continue to become more informed by reading about and engaging with Indigenous communities."

Read the full article about Indigenous voices by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.