Nick Estes

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Nick Estes is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is currently the American Democracy Fellow at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center. 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 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 History, Native American and Indigenous Studies Journal, Harvard 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.[1]


Global Uprising webinar


July 9 - Global Uprising: Webinar with Michael Bennett, Pele Bennett, Joy Lehuanani Enomoto and Nick Estes July 1, 2020.

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Join us for a discussion with Black and Indigenous activists and scholars involved in struggles against racism and settler colonialism from Hawaii to Samoa, First Nations, Black America and Palestine. Moderated by Assistant Professor Noura Erakat.

Critical conversations on settler colonialism


This week we continue our collaboration with The Red Nation and Arab Resource and Organizing Center on a series of critical conversations on settler colonialism, US imperialism, and decolonization.

Tonight's forum will explore how the politics of abolition help us learn lessons for international solidarity during COVID-19 and features: Ruthie Wilson Gilmore of the CUNY Graduate Center, Emmy Rakete of People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA), and Mohamed Shehk of Critical Resistance. The forum will be introduced by The Red Nation's Nicolas Cruz and moderated by CPE's Rachel Herzing.



Caracas, October 30 2019 (RHC)-- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza spoke Tuesday with indigenous representatives from the United States to strengthen ties of brotherhood in the context of the First International Meeting of Native Peoples.

Arreaza met with Professor Nick Estes and the team of The Red Nation, an American organization dedicated to promoting the liberation of the natives from capitalism and colonialism.

Inspired by the Indo-American socialism of Jose Carlos Mariategui (1894-1930), the representatives of both nations talked about the struggles and fraternity among native peoples, the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained, through a message on Twitter.

From this Tuesday until Thursday, the First International Meeting of Indigenous Peoples will take place in the city of Guayana, Venezuelan state of Bolivar, with the participation of indigenous leaders from some 20 countries, including Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Canada and the United States.

The purpose of the meeting is to consolidate a plan of action, for which organizational strategies will be drawn up to promote dialogue, peace and respect among nations.

The initiative is part of the strategic lines of the 25th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, developed in this capital between July 25th and 28th, to establish a Bolivarian alliance of indigenous peoples for sovereignty, solidarity and decolonization.[2]

DSA connection


Nick Estes: Author Talk, Standing Rock & The Green New Deal Hosted by DSA - Brookings.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM CDT

Siouxland Libraries 200 N Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104.

Professor, author and The Red Nation organizer Nick Estes, Ph.D. will be in Sioux Falls for one night to discuss how the reckless destruction of Indian lands by various federal policies will be the future of ALL people in America if we don't organize a better tomorrow, today.


The Red Nation organizers include Cheyenne Antonio, David Maile, Melanie Yazzie, Nick Estes, and Dr. Jennifer Denetdale.

Red Nation comrades

Nick Estes July 14 2019·


With Justine Teba, Anntoohneohh Shye, Hope Alvarado, Jennifer Marley, Melanie Yazzie and Demetrius Johnson.

The Red Nation connection

The Red Nation September 5, 2018 ·


One of our favorite authors and a dear friend! Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is essential to The Red Nation political literature, and yesterday we got to hear her perspective on the history of immigration. Reminder: We have a study group on Thursday, where we’ll be discussing some of her work. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in joining. — with Nick Estes, Elena Yen Suffling, Kiley Guy, Jennifer Marley, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Melissa Tso.


The Red Nation October 11, 2017 near Santa Fe, NM ·

  1. FuckColonialism with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz ✊ — with Jennifer Marley, Melissa Tso, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Melanie Yazzie and Nick Estes.


The Red Nation October 9, 2017 near Albuquerque, NM ·

Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day!


Photo: The Red Nation and allies after the passage of IPD-Albuquerque in 2015. — with Nick Estes, Samia Assed, Melanie Yazzie, Peter Clark, Hatuk Hill and Melissa Tso.

ABQ radicals

Chris Banks January 1, 2016 ·


The PSL, The Red Nation, The Red Student Faction - UNM and many friends reviewing the movement milestones of 2015. We're ready for another year of organizing and struggle! — with Janna Nelson, Erin Bo, Michael Butler, Jill Susan, Paige Murphy, T-Bex Hampton and Vanissa Cushman and Nick Estes.