Long before European arrival in the Americas, Indigenous people and nations practiced enslavement. Their version of enslavement looked different from the version Christopher Columbus and his fellow Europeans practiced, but Indigenous slavery also shared many similarities with the Euro-American practice of African chattel slavery.
While there is no way to measure the exact impact of slavery upon the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, we do know the practice involved many millions of Indigenous people who were captured, bound, and sold as enslaved people.
Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Executive Director of Native Bound Unbound: Archive of Indigenous Slavery, joins us to discuss the Native Bound Unbound digital project.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of Colonial Williamsburg Innovation Studios.
Our guest Estevan Rael-Gálvez is an anthropologist, historian, and cultural consultant. He has worked as a Senior Vice President at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and as the State Historian of New Mexico. His research focuses on recovering the lives and histories of Indigenous peoples who experienced enslavement. At present, he is the founder and Executive Director of the digital project Native Bound Unbound: Archive of Indigenous Slavery.
During our investigation, Estevan reveals what the Native Bound Unbound project will include; What prompted the project; The origins and scope of Indigenous slavery in the Americas; And the importance of recovering the names and stories of enslaved individuals.
What You’ll Discover
- The work of a state historian
- The Native Bound Unbound project
- What prompted the Native Bound Unbound project
- Estevan’s personal connection to the project
- The origins of European-controlled Indigenous slavery in the Americas
- Similarities and differences between African and Indigenous slavery
- The types of documents that reveal information about Indigenous slavery
- The role of oral history in telling the history of Indigenous slavery
- Efforts to transcribe documents in the archive into multiple languages
- Who the Native Bound Unbound project is for and ways it could be used by different people
- The importance of recovering the names and stories of individuals in the project
- The scope of Indigenous slavery
- Why Indigenous slavery is not a well-known part of American history
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Estevan Rael-Gálvez
- Native Bound Unbound
- Contact Native Bound Unbound
- Transcribing Portal, Native Bound Unbound: Archive of Indigenous Slavery
- Gilder-Lehrman, “Historical Context: Facts about the Slave Trade and Slavery”
- Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
- Colonial Williamsburg: Subscribe to our Email Lists
- The Power of Place: The Centennial Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg
- Episode 008: Gregory E. O’Malley, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807
- Episode 139: Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: Indian Enslavement in the Americas
- Episode 184: David J. Silverman, Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violence Transformation of Native America
- Episode 197: Brett Rushforth, Native American Slavery in New France
- Episode 220: Margaret Ellen Newell, New England Indians, Colonists, and Origins of Slavery
- Episode 367: The Brafferton Indian School, Part 1
- Episode 368: The Brafferton Indian School, Part 2: Legacies
In your opinion, what if the Native Bound Unbound digital archive had actually been available 30 years ago? How do you think our understanding of early American history would be different?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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