TRANS* & Nonbinary

Lending Library

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee:

Native America from 1890 to the Present

by David Treuer (he/him) 
The Gender Creative Child, by Diane Ehrensaft, PhD

Exerpts from

It has been 50 years since Dee Brown’s magnus opus, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, hit bookstores across the world and fundamentally changed the way people understood American Indian history and viewed Native communities. Brown painted a bleak portrait. He traced one atrocity after another, from contact up to the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. To be sure, Brown raised awareness of how the United States had mistreated and wronged Indigenous peoples, as the book sold millions worldwide. But he also branded American Indians as sad, defeated, desperate, and dying—a people who had lost everything and had no future.

With The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, Ojibwe writer David Treuer picks up where Brown left off, but takes a very different approach in his assessment of American Indians and tribal communities. Rather than defeated and dying, Treuer illuminates the vivacity, resilience, and resurgence that have characterized Native peoples since those tragic events at Wounded Knee.

Unlike much recent historiography, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is not concerned with grinding ideological axes or making indictments. Rather, it’s an honest look at Indian people today, or, in Treuer’s words, “it is adamantly, unashamedly about Indian life rather than Indian death.”


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