Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words by Juan Gómez-Quiñones

Two scholarly essays by the award-winning educator, author and Professor of History at UCLA, Juan Gómez-Quiñones.

“Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words” begins: “American Indian ancestries and heritages ought to be integral to K-12 curriculums and university explorations and graduate expositions for obvious reasons – contemporary universalist understandings. I refer not to a special presentation, project option, or ethnographic appreciation here and there, but rather to the full integration of Native American histories and cultures into academic curriculums. The Indigenous voice matters, yesterday and today, in substantive pedagogical and philosophical discourses.”

“…if I were rich, I would buy a million copies of this book and have them dropped from airplanes on every university campus in North America.”

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Professor Emeriti, Ethnic Studies, at California State University East Bay, and author of Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico

“Indigenous Quotient” depicts the history of academic discourse on American Indigenous Peoples. Gómez-Quiñones chronologically examines the context and purpose of Western discourse, specifically U.S. and Spanish/Mexican on Indigenous peoples, which demonstrates a continued attempt by Western intellectuals to rationalize colonization from Columbus to current proponents of financial globalization. “Stalking Words” begins where “Indigenous Quotient” left off by developing a paradigm rooted in Indigenous ethos that consists of:

1) critiquing colonialism and all oppressive power structures
2) self-reflection of historiography, theory, and philosophy
3) responsibility of transmitting heritage
4) Indigenous epistemology as the foundation of personhood and auto-validation
5) ideological autonomy

By establishing these tracts as a foundation for intellectual theorizing, Gómez-Quiñones points students and researchers towards the theory that also serves as a pedagogy that teaches the values and ethics of compassion and understanding, or as he states it, “of strong heart and wise character.”


Juan Gómez-Quiñones is an award-winning educator, author, community activist, editor, poet, and for over forty years, one of the foremost Chicano historians and scholars in the U.S. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles where he is currently a Professor of History, and where he has taught since 1974. He specializes in the fields of political, labor, intellectual, and cultural history. Among his over thirty published writings, that include articles and monographs, are the books: Mexican American Labor: 1790-1990; The Roots of Chicano Politics: 1600-1940; Chicano Politics: 1940-1990; and 5th and Grande Vista (poetry).