This collection of seventeen essays presents original and critical perspectives from writers, scholars and activists on issues that are pertinent to Aboriginal women and their communities in both rural and urban settings in Canada. Their contributions explore the critical issues facing Native women as they rebuild and revive their communities.
Through topics such as the role of tradition, reclaiming identities and protecting Native children and the environment, they identify the restraints that shape their actions and the inspirations that feed their visions.The contributors address issues of youth, health and sexual identity; women's aging, sexuality and health; caring for children and adults living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; First Nations education and schooling; community-based activism on issues of prostitution and sex workers; and reclaiming cultural identity through art and music.
Introduction: For the Betterment of Our Nations, by Bonita Lawrence and Kim Anderson
Part I: Coming Home
Chapter 1: Where the Spirits Live: Women Rebuilding a Non-Status Mi’kmaq Community, by Gertie Mai Muise
Chapter 2: The Drum Keeps Beating: Recovering a Mohawk Identity, by Laura Schwager
Chapter 3: From the Stories that Women Tell: The Métis Women’s Circle, by Carole Leclair and Lynn Nicholson, with Métis Elder Elize Hartley
Chapter 4: The Eagle Has Landed: Native Women, Leadership and Community Development, by Sylvia Maracle
Chapter 5: Strong Spirit, Fractured Identity: An Ojibway Adoptee’s Journey to Wholeness, by Shandra Spears
Part II: Asking Questions
Chapter 6: Tribal Feminism Is a Drum Song, by Rosanna Deerchild
Chapter 7: She No Speaks and Other Colonial Constructs of “The Traditional Woman,” by Dawn Martin-Hill
Chapter 8: Approaching the Fourth Mountain: Native Women and the Ageing Process, by Bonita Lawrence
Chapter 9: Arts and Letters Club: Two-Spirited Women Artists and Social Change, by Nancy Cooper
Chapter 10: The Healing Power of Women’s Voices, by Zainab Amadahy
Chapter 11: Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, by Fay Blaney
Part III: Rebuilding Our Communities
Chapter 12: Vital Signs: reading Colonialism in Contemporary Adolescent Family Planning, by Kim Anderson
Chapter 13: Creating a Community-Based School, by Jean Knockwood
Chapter 14: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teachers Among Us, by Rebecca Martell
Chapter 15: From Victims to Leaders: Activism against Violence towards Women, by Cyndy Baskin
Chapter 16: The Truth About Us: Living in the Aftermath of the Ipperwash Crisis, by Shelly E. Bressette
Chapter 17: Coming Full Circle: A Young Man’s Perspective on Building Gender Equity in Aboriginal Communities, by Carl Fernández
Kim Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has published over thirty book chapters and journal articles and is also the principal investigator for two SSHRC research projects: Bidwewidam Indigenous Masculinities (2011-2014) and Indigenous Knowledge Translation in Urban Aboriginal Settings (2014-2017). Anderson is a long-standing advocate for Indigenous women and families and is regularly involved in community-based research and teaching in this area.
Bonita Lawrence (Mi'kmaq) is Assistant Professor at Queen's University in Kingston where she teaches Women's Studies and Indigenous Studies.
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