Jennifer Nez Denetdale is a professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and she was the first Diné, or Navajo, scholar ever to get a PhD in History. Jennifer chairs the Navajo Human Rights Commission. She is the author of Reclaiming Dine History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita.
Melanie Yazzie is Diné and a professor of American Studies as well as Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Melanie organizes with The Red Nation, cohosts the Red Power Hour podcast, and she is also the lead editor of the journal Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society.
We discuss the collective process that went into developing Red Nation Rising, and what makes it an important source for those wishing to understand Native communities and the intersections between issues like gender, class, and resistance to bordertown violence.
Melanie, Jennifer, and Nick describe the failures of academic institutions when it comes to addressing Native issues, and the importance of not just centering Native voices but going beyond simple tokenization.
We learn of the violence facing indigenous organizers, including a lynch mob that targeted Jennifer, threatening her multiple times and publishing her home address.
We also examine the issue of bordertown violence, and how the United States continues to attack Native territories, and how bordertowns are "key front lines in the long struggle for Native liberation from US colonial control."
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