Native American Slavery and Genocide

ddeh_64_1The most recent issue of Ethnohistory, “Native American Slavery in the Seventeenth Century,” edited by Arne Bialuschewski, sheds new light on the role of Native American slavery in the development of colonial economies and in shaping the colonial world across cultural and political boundaries.

Though enslavement took various forms—from outright chattel to limited-term servitude—indigenous slavery was ubiquitous in the major colonial empires by the late seventeenth century. Focusing on five examples of Native American slavery in the early modern period, the contributors present important new frames for scholarship in this growing area of study. Articles address an early Spanish abolition campaign, buccaneers’ involvement in the enslavement of Maya groups, native slaves in the early plantation economy of Barbados, the enslavement of indigenous surrenderers after King Philip’s War, and the interactions between French explorers and indigenous slaves in the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Read the introduction, made freely available.

978-0-8223-5779-7The essay collection Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America, edited by Alexander Laban Hinton, Andrew Woolford, and Jeff Benvenuto, expands the geographic, demographic, and analytic scope of the term genocide to encompass the effects of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America. Colonists made multiple and interconnected attempts to destroy Indigenous peoples as groups, and the contributors to this book examine these efforts through the lens of genocide.

Considering some of the most destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America, several essays in the collection address Indigenous boarding school systems imposed by both the Canadian and U.S. governments in attempts to “civilize” or “assimilate” Indigenous children. Contributors examine some of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous peoples and the natural environment, including massacres, land appropriation, the spread of disease, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and forced political restructuring of Indigenous communities.

Assessing the record of these appalling events, the contributors maintain that North Americans must reckon with colonial and settler colonial attempts to annihilate Indigenous peoples.

Read more about Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America on the book’s webpage.

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