INST 358 (2011): Aboriginal Women in Canada Report a Broken Link

This course examines the roles of women in traditional, precontact Aboriginal societies, discusses the changes that faced Aboriginal women as a consequence of colonization, and introduces contemporary issues of concern to Aboriginal women in Canada.

Required Readings


Unit 1


Introduction to Theoretical Concepts
Armstrong, Jeanette. "Invocation: The Real Power of Aboriginal Women."

In Christine Miller and Patricia Chuchryk, eds., Women of the First Nations: Power, Wisdom, and Strength, pp. ix-xii. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1996.

Carter, Sarah. "In Sharp Relief: Representations of Aboriginal Women in the Colonial Imagination."

In Capturing Women: The Manipulation of Cultural Imagery in Canada's Prairie West, pp. 158-237. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997.

In Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit: Essays on Native American Life Today, pp. 13-47. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

Unit 2


Traditional Roles of Aboriginal Women: Oral Traditions

The Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 42, no. 166 (1929): 309-353.

Unit 3


Traditional Roles of Aboriginal Women in Recent Scholarship

Minnesota History, vol. 48, no. 6 (1983): 236-244.

Unit 4


The Historical Fur Trade, ca. 1700-1850

In Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada. Toronto: Women’s Press, 1991.

Historical Archaeology, vol. 23, no. 1 (1989): 97-106.

White, Bruce M. The Woman who Married a Beaver: Trade Patterns and Gender Roles in the Ojibwa Fur Trade.

Ethnohistory 46:1, Winter 199, pp. 109-147.

Unit 5


The Colonial Impact, ca. 1850-1920
Payment, Diane P. "'La vie en rose"? Metis Women at Batoche, 1870 to 1920."

In Christine Miller and Patricia Chuchryk (eds.), Women of the First Nations: Power, Wisdom, and Strength, pp. 19-38. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1996.

In Enakshi Dua and Angela Robertson (eds.), Scratching the Surface: Canadian Anti-Racist Feminist Thought, pp. 49-80. Toronto: Women’s Press, 1999.

Unit 6


The Colonial Impact, ca. 1920-1960

Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, vol. 18 (2001): 43-65.

Oral History Forum, vol. 19/20 (1999-2000): 91-111.

Unit 7


Challenges to Colonialism, ca. 1960-1985
Green, Joyce. "Sexual Equality and Indian Government: An Analysis of Bill C-31 Amendments to the Indian Act."

Native Studies Review, vol. 1, no. 2 (1985): 81-95.

Chapter 13 In Theda Perdue (ed.), Sifters: Native American Women’s Lives, pp. 204-222. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Unit 8


Violence and Aboriginal Women in the Late Twentieth Century

Chapter 15

Chapter 7

Unit 9


Reawakening Strength and Resistance

Chapter 17