You and I Need to Read This

You and I Need to Read This: ‘Our History is the Future’ by Nick Estes

You and I need to read more about the long tradition of indigenous resistance and what it can teach us in our fight against climate change

Assad Abderemane
6 min readMay 31, 2021

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Versobooks

Welcome to the You and I Need to Read This series, in which I take a book on my bookshelf that I still haven’t read, and explain through a bit of meandering why I, and consequently you, should read it right now. My goal with this series is to foster an active reading habit, which is partly in my own self-interest because I have a habit of buying or borrowing books without reading them. I’ll usually have read some snippets of the book from the back cover and some articles about the book or the author. I’m hoping to stray away from my bookshelf and eventually take book recommendations from you, my readers, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me abderemane.m.assad@gmail.com!

Let’s start with ‘Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance’ by Nick Estes

In Greek mythology, Apollo chases Daphne through the forest; to free her from his predation, Peneus the river god turns Daphne into a laurel tree. In the 16th century, Francis Bacon adopted r*pe imagery to illustrate men’s power over nature. And in the 19th century, Charles Darwin placed women lower than men and closer to nature in the evolutionary hierarchy, thereby justifying women’s inferior social status and subjugation in Victorian England. Associating women with nature is no coincidence, then. Rather, it’s a product of Western culture’s baked-in misogyny, in which men’s dominance is valued over all else. To not be a man is to be a piece of nature ripe for the taking. All this to say that men have imagined science as male for a long time and nature as female for even longer, which informs how Western society tends to treat the earth. And it is with this mindset that settler colonialists spread across Native American land.

As contradictory as it may sound, the tendency to treat land as a commodity wasn’t only encouraged by science and greed, but also by religion. In the context of settler…

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Assad Abderemane

Writer based in France. Words at Level, Elemental, Gen, Human Parts, etc. Email: abderemane.m.assad@gmail.com