A Short Course in Indigenous Feminism

Indigenous feminists, like Jessica Yee pictured here, are on the rise and they aren't takin' shit from nobody

For those who don’t know much about me, I am a currently studying for a Masters Degree in Public Issues Anthropology, specializing in an analysis of revolutionary Native nationalist and anti-colonialist movements in North Amerika. I also have really strong interrelated interests in Native revolutionary critical pedagogy, the “reindigenization” of the Chicano-Mexicano community and movement and, the subject of this post, indigenous feminism. Anyway, one of the perks of my program is that I can create my own courses, and I’ve taken such a route this semester by creating my own directed studies course in indigenous feminist theory.

The growth of indigenous feminism is, for me, a huge interest, both personal and academic, not just because of the obvious importance struggling against both white supremacist (neo)colonial capitalism and hetero-patriarchy if we want to achieve meaningful freedom, justice and equality, but also because for a long time the status quo within our movement was that you could not be both a feminist and a native warrior. On the one hand we are not Native enough if we call ourselves and our movement feminist, but on the other we are not feminist enough for the whitestream feminists since we are pointing out that the whitestream movement does not take us, and our unique experiences and struggles into account. I am an indigenous man and I find this to be one of the greatest failings of our movement, and for that reason I wholeheartedly endorse, support and promote the rise of an indigenous feminism.

Anyway, with that in mind and in the spirit of sharing ideas, and radical education I’ve decided to post my reading list, derived from a list put created by Jessica Yee for BITCH Magazine, for others to take a look a lot, critique and/or otherwise contribute their thoughts. It’s made up of a mix of books and articles, both academic and non-academic, which are available on line.


Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, edited by Joyce Green

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

From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii, by Haunani-Kay Trask

Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, by Andrea Smith

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

The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, by Paula Gunn Allen

Indigenous American Women: Decolonization, Empowerment, Activism, by Devon Abbott Mihesuah

Online Articles:

Indigenous Feminism Without Apology, by Andrea Smith

Anti-Colonial Responses to Gender Violence, by Andrea Smith

Not an Indian Tradition: The Sexual Colonization of Indian Peoples, by Andrea Smith

Better Dead Than Pregnant: The Colonization of Native Women’s Health, by Andrea Smith

Women and the Indian Act, by Deborah Simmons

Nuu-Chah-Nulth Struggles Against Sexual Violence, an Interview with Na’cha’uaht & Chiinuuks

Sexism, Racism or Both? A Closer Look at the Indian Act and the McIvor Case, by Martin Cannon

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

Video Lectures

The Lives of Indigenous Women in a ‘Post-Racial’ and ‘Post-Feminist’ World, by Andrea Smith

Conquest: Sexual Violence and the American Indian Genocide, by Andrea Smith

Academic Journal Publications:


Wicazo Sa Review “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, by Eileen Morton-Robinson

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

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

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

Dismantling the Master’s Tools with the Master’s House: Native Feminist Liberation Theologies, by Andrea Smith

Other Important Resources

Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat, by J. Sakai

Patriarchy and Accumulation On A World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour, by Maria Mies

Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body, and Primitive Accumulation, by Silvia Federici

Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity, by Chandra Talpade Mohanty


Posted on January 24, 2011, in Imperialism & Colonialism, Indigenous Struggles, Revolutionary Theory, Women's Liberation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I am happy to see the interest in Indigenism and Feminism. It is an important field that could be moved forward in academe with just a little bit or organized research and interest! Thanks (Wa Do) to those who created the list of readings. Be well and all good things to these leaders in this field 🙂 Warm smile, anne 😉

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