History U | American Indian History: Recasting the Narrative

American Indian History: Recasting the Narrative

This History U course will introduce and explore the complexities of American Indian history from the Columbian Exchange through Native activism in the twentieth century. 


Course Instructor: Professor Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone), Yale University
Eligibility: High school students


Image Source: D. F. Barry, "Sitting Bull," 1885 (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, 94506170)

Photograph of Sitting Bull
  • History U

  • Free for high school students

Course Description

This History U course will introduce and explore the complexities of American Indian history, a field of study ignored for generations. Indigenous peoples have fundamentally shaped and defined the modern world. From the founding of the first European settlements in North America to continuing debates over the meanings of American democracy, Indian history remains integral to understanding US history and culture. We will explore stories that elucidate the persecution and perseverance of American Indians. Some of the topics include

  • the Columbian Exchange
  • the Iroquois Confederacy
  • the Seven Years’ War
  • Native peoples and the American Revolution
  • the Indian Removal Act
  • Native peoples during the Civil War
  • the assimilation era
  • Native activism during the twentieth century

Register Now

The views expressed in this course are those of Dr. Ned Blackhawk.


  • Thirty video sessions led by Professor Ned Blackhawk
  • Links to optional resources
  • Short quizzes to review your knowledge
  • A certificate of completion for 12 hours of course time

How to Access

  1. Click Log In and either log into your account or click the Sign Up link on the login screen to create an account.
  2. Click the Register Now button and complete the order form.
  3. After registering, you may access your course by signing in and visiting your My Courses link under My Account.

Course Introduction

Alona Whitebird Medina explains what you will learn in this course.

About the Scholar

Ned Blackhawk, Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University

Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University. His highly praised 2006 book, Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West, re-examines the history of the Great Basin through the experiences of the Ute, Paiute, and Shoshone Indians. In 2023 he published The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History, which covers five centuries of United States history centering the experiences of Native Americans in the development of modern America.

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