We Are the Stars
Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition
An emerging Lakota scholar’s critical interrogation of settler-colonial nations that re-centers Oceti Sakowin (Dakota) women as the tribe’s traditional culture keepers and bearers.
We Are the Stars is a literary recovery project that seeks to reconstruct a genealogy of Oceti Sakowin (Dakota) literature, and study in-depth the linkages between settler colonialism, literature, nationalism, and gender via analysis of tribal and settler colonial narratives about women and land.
Sarah Hernandez begins by exploring how settler colonizers used the printing press and boarding schools to displace Oceti Sakowin women as traditional culture keepers and bearers, with the goal of assimilating completely the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota nations.
She then shifts her focus to decolonization, exploring how contemporary Oceti Sakowin writers and scholars have started to reclaim Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota literatures to decolonize and heal their families, communities, and nations.