There’s one major aspect of the popular Gold Rush lore that few Californians today know about: during that period, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000, much of the decline from state-sponsored slaughter. Addressing the aftermath of colonization and historical trauma, a leading scholar explores the miraculous legacy of California Indians, including their extensive contributions to our culture today. Join us for a conversation with UCLA historian Benjamin Madley, author of the groundbreaking study: An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873.
This program was produced as part of The Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.
Benjamin Madley is an historian of Native America, the United States, and colonialism in world history. Born in Redding, California, Madley spend much of his childhood in Karuk Country near the Oregon border where he became interested in the relationship between colonizers and indigenous peoples. He earned a Ph.D. in History at Yale University and writes about American Indians as well as colonization in Africa, Australia, and Europe. His first book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, the Raphael Lemkin Book Award from the Institute for the Study of Genocide, and the Heyday Books History Award among many others.