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Feminist Intersection: Indigenous Feminisms and Resources - Without Apology and More

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!

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5 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Another book

Thank you for this great resource list! A book about indigenous feminism I thought was really great was "Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas" edited by Shannon Speed, R. Aída Hernández Castillo, and Lynn M. Stephen (2006).

Native Hawai'ian Feminist Activism

THIS IS AWESOME! I can't wait to dive into this stuff.

I'm personally most familiar with Hawai'ian issues and wholly admire Hawai'ian activist Haunani Kay-Trask. She is an absolute force of nature and while most of her work's theses focus on indigenous rights for Hawai'ians (as well as decolonization, sovereignty, Western versus Indigenous historical perspectives, etc), her work is heavily peppered with indigenous women's issues.

Her book, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i, is a collection of essays that are fully blunt about the situation now and historically. Apparently you can read it on Google books!


I am so pleased to hear the silence broken about this issue. I am also an Indigenous Feminist, (1/2 Hopi/Dineh & 1/2 Colombian) and have received a lot of b.s. from my people/family/community at large for identifying as such. At 22, I hope that my generation can become connected with our feminist & Indigenous roots, and also look to the future for support in resolving these issues that continue to hold us down.
Celeste "Cele" Spink
Co-Founder/ Community Advocacy Council Chair
Indigenous Youth Sovereignty Project (IYSP)
Denver, CO

Don't apologize...

get angry. I'm doing research for my senior thesis and I came across your post. So like I said, don't apologize -- get angry.

I just finished reading Audre Lorde's essay on anger, "The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism" (in Sister Outsider) and I feel that it's as appropriate now as it was back when she gave the speech.

Wow, thanks for this great

Wow, thanks for this great reading list. Small correction - Eileen Morton-Robinson should be Aileen Moreton-Robinson.