Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades. After receiving her PhD in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, she taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Her 1977 book "The Great Sioux Nation" was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. Dunbar-Ortiz's most recent book, "An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States" (Beacon Press, 2014) was the 2015 Recipient of the American Book Award and the winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.