In 1996, when Washington State Senate candidate Skip Richards was exposed in the Anacortes American as an Anti-Indian militia organizer, I met Ken Toole of the Montana Human Rights Network. At a conference earlier that year, I met Rudolph Ryser of the Center for World Indigenous Studies. Between the two of them, my education on Anti-Indian racism took off.
In 2000, while I was preparing for graduate school in San Francisco, the Montana Human Rights Network published its groundbreaking report, Drumming Up Resentment. This report, along with Rudolph C. Ryser’s Anti-Indian Movement on the Tribal Frontier, provides scholars and activists with essential knowledge on the topic.
As the Anti-Indian Movement now launches a national offensive to terminate Indian tribes in the United States, these two reports are valuable resources for those just encountering this longstanding form of racism.
As Ken Toole observed, the Anti-Indian Movement is racist at its core because of its clearly articulated goals. The movement in America, he says, is as old as the arrival of the first Europeans.
While the modern Anti-Indian Movement advocates the continued elimination of Indian people, he says, “in this last iteration, the elimination is not by the murder of individuals, but by the termination of their structures of self-governance, the taking of their resources, and by defining them as part of ‘the rest of the country’ through forced assimilation.”
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