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Nick Estes

Visiting Writer 2020

About Nick Estes

Nick Estes is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is an Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, he co-founded The Red Nation, an Indigenous resistance organization. For 2017-2018, Estes was the American Democracy Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. His research engages colonialism and global Indigenous histories, with a focus on decolonization, oral history, U.S. imperialism, environmental justice, anti-capitalism, and the Oceti Sakowin. Estes is a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a network of Indigenous writers committed to defend and advance Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota) sovereignty, cultures, and histories.

Estes is the author of the book Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019), which places into historical context the Indigenous-led movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. He edited with Jaskiran Dhillon the forthcoming volume Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement (University of Minnesota, 2019), which draws together more than thirty contributors, including leaders, scholars, and activists of the Standing Rock movement. He was a guest editor with Melanie K. Yazzie of a special issue of Wicazo Sa Review (Spring 2016) on the legacy of Dakota scholar Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, one of the founders of American Indian Studies. Estes’ forthcoming chapter “Anti Indian Common Sense: Border Town Violence and Resistance in Mni Luzahan” in Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West (Fall, 2019), edited by Heather Dorries, Robert Henry, David Hugill, and Tyler McCreary, combines Marxist and Indigenous theories of power to understand bordertown violence in Rapid City, South Dakota. His film and book reviews can be found in Environmental HistoryNative American and Indigenous Studies JournalHarvard Business Review, and Abolition Journal.

In 2015, his reporting on bordertown violence and racism for Indian Country Today won a Third Place Prize for Excellence in Beat Reporting from the Native American Journalism Association. Estes’ journalism and writing is also featured in the Intercept, Jacobin, Indian Country Today, The Funambulist Magazine, and High Country News.

His publications are available here: