Nick Estes: Internationalism

CJ Trowbridge


Power and Politics in American Indian History

Response 7

Nick Estes, Our History is the Future (2019), Chapter 6. Internationalism (pages 201-246) 45 pages

            A new coalition rose up from the ashes of centuries of centuries of genocide. Leaders from surviving tribes all over the western hemisphere came together in Geneva to hold space together and speak with one voice. (Estes 175) They had the support of the soviet bloc, many third-world nations, and many national liberation movements all over the world. (176) The made the case that America had committed a genocide against first nations, systematically incarcerated leaders, and violated treaties in the process. They also brought up the COINTELPRO FBI program which had worked hard to destroy many community and civil rights organizations. They demanded America be prosecuted by the international community for these and other crimes against native people, black people, and other groups.  (176)

Vladimir Lenin himself supported the right of colonized nations to “secede and declare independence from colonial masters”. (178) Unfortunately, with America firmly in denial about its own history and committed to continuing its war of extermination and displacement, there was little the international community could do besides apply pressure. (179) This led to a wider alliance with other ethnic minorities in America and around the world. Together with this larger alliance of groups, a broader cultural shift became possible. (202) The work is continuing to this day. (210)