Project 1492 offers a different view of American historyDecember 7, 2021
For too long American history has been taught from just one perspective – the myopic view of the settler colonists – and so many of the facts of the country’s past have been conveniently swept under the rug. The new Project 1492 website (project1492.org), launched during the week of Thanksgiving, is intended to offer a different view of history while informing average Americans about many events that have been omitted from the mainstream narrative or forgotten entirely.
The site contains a series of stories that tell the truth about what happened to Native American people over the past 500+ years on the North American content. The decisions made by European colonists have shaped this country in countless ways, but without the taking of Indian land and subjugation of Indigenous people, none of it would have been possible. History has consequences that continue to impact the relationship between the descendants of European settlers and modern-day Native Americans.
The Project 1492 website is organized into six historical eras as seen from an Indigenous perspective. Each section contains stories about events that took place in that era, policies that were implemented, and the lasting harmful effects of those choices on Indian people. Most of the stories are not easy to read, but they are important. Few Americans know what happened to the original inhabitants of the continent or what their lives are like today.
The goal of the project is to share as many of those stories as possible while continuously adding more content in the future, much of it sourced from readers who want to contribute to the project via the ‘Contact Us’ page on the website. Among the topics covered are some truly shocking historical events:
- The legalized hunting and enslavement of Indian children in California in the 1850s
- The disastrous Urban Relocation Program of the 1950s and 60s
- The forced sterilization of Indian women and girls in the 1970s
- Violent disputes over Native fishing rights in the 1980s
- The forced adoption of Indian children to white families, which continues today
There is one final section on the website called ‘We’re Still Here,’ a hopeful repository of good things happening in Indian Country that illustrate the resilience of Native people as they continue to preserve their culture, educate their young people, recover their traditional lands and lay the groundwork for the future. That’s certainly a story worth telling.
To reach the Project 1492 team, please use the Contact Us form on the website. Thank you for your interest.