Race in the United States is most often talked about in terms of black and white, sometimes as a spectrum running from whiteness to blackness. Such a conception does not map onto actual racial structures in the United States and excludes Native Americans. This article will criticize this binary, detailing a theory of race in which colonialism and racism are prior to racial formation, following Patrick Wolfe and Michael Omi and Howard Winant. In assembling this theory, this article attempts to bridge philosophical critical race studies and Native American and Indigenous Peoples studies. It argues that to be a member of a race is to be in a relationship of dominance and resistance with settler colonialism. It discusses the implications of a political mode (following Tommie Shelby) of Native race in greater detail, including how it can be differentiated from ethnicity and tribal identity, and how it might be politically useful in anti-domination solidarity. Finally, the article examines the similarities and differences between Native race as construed here and concepts of being Indigenous, suggesting that what Indigenous is at the global level, Native race may be at the local.

You do not currently have access to this content.