UUSA Common Read – 2023

You are invited to read either version (original or young adult) or listen to the original version on Audible (2 minute sample below)

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a congregational common read of the UUA Beacon Press book, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, or An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for Young Adult, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese. We explored the topics raised in this book during three zoom meetings in 2023. The outline for the meetings follows.

SESSION ONE – The Shaping of the Story – Wednesday, January 25; Rev Rachael, facilitator

  • What did you learn?
  • The Mayflower Compact as Covenant
  • U.S. American Exceptionalism
  • Terminal Narratives

SESSION TWO – The landWednesday, February 15; Rodger Mattlage, facilitator

  • Pre-Colonial Indigenous Civilizations
  • Jefferson and Jackson
  • Manifest Destiny and Extravagant Violence
  • Allotments and the Settlers’ Freedom to Acquire

SESSION THREE – Resistance and Reclamation – Wednesday, March 15; Ellen Pile, facilitator

  • Resistance to Boarding Schools
  • Multiculturalism as Assimilation
  • Rights and Climate Justice
  • What’s Next?

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how European colonialist policy from the first settlement was designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants and continued for the next 400 years. The author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, wrote “My hope is that this book will be a springboard to dialogue about history, the present reality of Indigenous peoples’ experience, and the meaning and future of the United States itself.” For more information on the book, see: book background.

NOTE: the facilitators of the three zoom meetings are non-Indigenous people in the UUSA congregation. The facilitators guide for this project was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association by Gail Forsyth-Vail, and is available for all to see the questions and the process that will be used to encourage discussion.

A list of “Actions Related to Indigenous Rights” is available. Also for those of you interested in what actions you can take, we have prepared some suggestions below…

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