Video: In the fight for racial justice, Native stories should not be ignored

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Race in America was socially constructed —based on white supremacy— and cannot exist without the creation of a racial hierarchy that leads to violence against communities of color.

That’s according to University of Alberta professor Kim TallBear, who teaches in the school’s Faculty of Native Studies department. A member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe in South Dakota, TallBear was one of several panelists examining the history of race in America during a livestreamed Berkeley Conversations event today (Friday, Sept. 25) at 1 p.m.

University of Alberta Associate Professor Kim TallBear’s research focuses on genetic science and the notions of race and indigeneity.

Attendees watched the documentary “Race: The Power of an Illusion: (Part2) The Story We Tell,”  which was followed by a one-hour discussion and Q&A session.

Sponsored by Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute, the screening and talk was the second in a three-part series delving into the concept of race and its origins in America.

“We have to understand history better,” said TallBear, whose research focuses on genetic science and the notions of race and indigeneity. “If we understand how we have each been racialized differently, to support different parts of white supremacy, it’s really helpful for having conversations about how we can support each other’s causes.”

TallBear spoke with Berkeley News about where Native stories fit in the discussion of race and racism and how understanding the history and stories of Native and indigenous peoples can help in the fight for racial justice. Click here to view written Q+A