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Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

California State University
Professor
San Francisco
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a writer, historian, and socialist activist. The stories of her grandfather inspired her to lifelong social justice activism. Her account of life up to leaving Oklahoma is recorded in Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie. Doctorate in History from University of California, Los Angeles to complete her doctorate in History. From 1967 to 1972, she was a full time activist living in various parts of the United States, traveling to Europe, Mexico, and Cuba. This time of her life and the aftermath, 1960-1975, is the story told in Outlaw Woman: Memoir of the War Years.
In 1974, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights. Her first published book, The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty, was published in 1977 and was presented as the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indians of the Americas, held at United Nations' headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. That book was followed by two others in the following years: Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, 1680-1980 and Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self-Determination.
In over a hundred trips to Nicaragua and Honduras from 1981 to 1989, she monitored what was called the Contra War. Her book, Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War was published in 2005..
Roxanne's 2014 book, An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States received the American Book Award. Her most recent book, published in 2018, is Loaded: A Disarming History of the United States.