From a Native Son

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From a Native Son, cover

From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985–1995 is a 1996 book by Ward Churchill. It is a collection of 23 previously published essays on various topics relevant to the indigenous peoples of the Americas (particularly of North America) in relation to their experience of being colonized. It is introduced by Howard Zinn.

Publishing information[edit]

It was published by South End Press in 1996 as a 588-page hardcover (ISBN 0-89608-554-6) and paperback (ISBN 0-89608-553-8).


The book brings together a decade of Churchill's writings on American Indian history, culture, and political activism. The essays explore the themes "of genocide in the Americas, historical/legal (re)interpretation of the processes of conquest and colonization, literary/cinematic criticism, and the positing of indigenist alternatives to the status quo." The author gives his assessments of how Indians are represented on film, in literature, and in academic institutions in order to support his case for believing in an ongoing "systematic cultural extermination". He analyses "Indian resistance--as it occurs in art, cultural practice, and activist struggle..."

The book is dedicated "for Aunt Bonnie, who inspired me more than she knew..."


The scholar Elizabeth Zahrt Geib, writing in Feminist Economics, stated that though the book was "thoroughly researched"[1] and benefited from a "highly articulate hypothesis",[1] she ultimately feared that due to the author presuming a familiarity with Postmodern theory on the part of the reader, that "some of the impacts of the essays could be lost on readers."[1]


The book won the 1997 Gustavus Myers Award for Outstanding Books on Human Rights.



  1. ^ a b c Geib, Elizabeth Zahrt (Jul. 2002). "Review of From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985-1995 by Ward Churchill". Feminist Economics. 8(2):5. ISSN 1354-5701. Retrieved on April 22, 2011