PCL READS Native Providence: A Virtual Author Talk with Patricia Rubertone

In Native Providence, Dr. Rubertone undermines myths that Native people have disappeared and are not part of this city’s recent urban history by chronicling the survivance of the Native people who stayed, left and returned, who faced involuntary displacement by urban renewal, who lived in Provi­dence briefly, or who made their presence known both here and in the wider indigenous and settler-colonial worlds. Click here for the 64-minute YouTube video of her talk on April 27, 2022 offered by Community Libraries of Providence.

Lee Smith of Mount Pleasant Library (above, left) co-hosts PCL READS and welcomes Professor Patricia Rubertone (above, right) to talk about her book, Native Providence: Memory, Community, and Survivance in the Northeast.

Denied their rightful place in modernity, men, women, and children from Narragansett, Nipmuc, Pequot, Wampanoag, and other ancestral communities traveled diverse and complicated routes to make their homes in this city. They found each other, carved out livelihoods, and created neighborhoods that became their urban homelands—new places of meaningful attachments. Accounts of individual lives and family histories emerge from historical and anthropological research in archives, government offices, historical societies, libraries, and museums and from community memories, geography, and landscape.

A city of modest size, Providence, Rhode Island, had the third-largest Native American population in the United States by the first decade of the twentieth century. Native Providence tells their stories at this historical moment and in the decades before and after, a time when European Americans claimed that Northeast Natives had mostly vanished.