Nick Estes is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and is an Assistant Professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.  He studies colonialism and global Indigenous histories, focusing on decolonization, oral history, U.S. imperialism, environmental justice, anti-capitalism, and the Oceti Sakowin.

Estes is the author of the award-winning book Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (2019), which places the Indigenous-led movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline into historical context. He co-edited with Jaskiran Dhillon Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement (2019), which draws together more than thirty contributors, including leaders, scholars, and activists of the Standing Rock movement, for a reflection of Indigenous history and politics and on the movement’s significance.

Estes was the American Democracy Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in History at Harvard University (2017-2018), the Lannan Literary Fellow for non-fiction (2019), and a Marguerite Casey Foundation Freedom Fellow (2020-2021). He is a National Archives Distinguished Scholar at Boston University (2022-2023).

Estes co-hosts the Red Nation podcast and is the lead editor of Red Media, an Indigenous-run non-profit media organization that publishes books, videos, and podcasts. Estes is also a member of the Oceti Sakowin Writers Society (formerly Oak Lake Writers Society), a network of Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota writers committed to defend and advance Oceti Sakowin sovereignty, cultures, and histories. He is also an award-winning journalist whose writing has been featured in the Guardian, The Intercept, Jacobin, Indian Country TodayThe NationNBC News, The Funambulist Magazine, High Country News, and the New Yorker.


Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • PhD: American Studies, University of New Mexico, 2017
  • MA: History, University of South Dakota, 2013
  • BA: History, Universoty of South Dakota, 2008


  • Oceti Sakowin studies
  • American Indian history
  • Indigenous social movements
  • Environmental justice
  • Federal Indian law and policy