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Jessica Yee's Blog

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Jessica is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice throughout the United States and Canada.

Indigenous feminisms and resources -- without apology and more

| April 15, 2010
Indigenous feminist

I'm proud to be an Indigenous feminist and I'm not apologizing for it. In fact this very statement "Native Feminisms Without Apology" was the title of an incredible conference in 2006 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I so wish I could have been at.

However, I'm still on a high from an amazing event we hosted in Toronto which was called "From Land Sovereignty to Reproductive Justice Freedom Fighting -- Blazing the Indigenous Feminist Trail" featuring myself and two of the godmothers of Indigenous feminism; Andrea Smith and Lee Maracle. In fact, google either of their names and you will surely come up with the mother load of resources about this topic.

So why am I not apologizing for being a Native feminist? Because I get serious flack for it -- from all sides. On the one hand I'm not Native enough if I call myself a feminist. On the other hand I'm not feminist enough since I'm pointing out there's a mainstream movement I really don't like.

However I know that I'm speaking the language of the colonizer; English. So no matter what I say it's not going to do my identity and my politics justice. I translate "feminism" to mean what my people have believed in since time immemorial -- balance. So if it takes y'all a few extra words to give me my right to self-determination of what I want to be called -- DEAL WITH IT.

Now I've written about Indigenous feminism here, here and here, but based on several recent requests I've received about it, I thought I'd also make a mini reference list of some great resources to check out:

Join our Facebook group Native Feminisms

Check out online:

Indigenous Feminism Without Apology - by Andrea Smith

Jennifer Nez Denetdale on Indigenous Feminisms

An Indigenous Perspective on Feminism, Militarism, and the Environment - by Winona LaDuke

Zapatismo and the Emergence of Indigenous Feminism - by Aida Hernandez Castillo

Indigenous Women and Feminism Conference: Culture, Activism, Politics Stollery Business Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada August 25-28, 2005

Book reads:

Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, edited by Joyce Green

Talkin' Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism, by Eileen Morton-Robinson

I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism, by Lee Maracle

Academic journal publications:

Native Feminisms: Legacies, Interventions, and Indigenous Sovereignties - guest edited by Mishuana R. Goeman and Jennifer Nez Denetdale

Whiteness Matters: Implications of Talking Up to the White Woman - Eileen Morton-Robinson

Race, Tribal Nation, and Gender: A Native Feminist Approach to Belonging - Renya Ramirez

Introduction: Special Issue on Native American Women, Feminism, and Indigenism - Anne Waters

Patriarchal Colonialism and Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism - M. A. Jaimes Guerrero

Dismantling the Master's Tools with the Master's House: Native Feminist Liberation Theologies - Andrea Smith

Know anything yourself about Indigenous feminism? Have a question about it? Let me hear it!

This post first appeared in Bitch Magazine.

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Comments

another great article!  thanks for all the additional resources!

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