The role of women in Native American societies

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As a result of being confined to a reserve, our traditional men and women lost their responsibilities in using their strengths, either physically or mentally.

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Women were thought of as property by our O :gwe ho:we men who became acculturated into believing that they had to think like white men. The entitlement to status under the Indian Act itself enabled that to happen, wherein the male would gain status and his wife and his children would gain his status.

Native American societies before contact - Period 1: 1491-1607 - AP US History - Khan Academy

Julie V. Historically, through the Indian Act a woman has had to leave the reserve community she married into if her husband abandons her or passes away. Aboriginal women on reserves face additional challenges with property. In these cases, lack of regulation regarding on-reserve matrimonial property has forced many women to leave their homes and belongings behind as they leave the reserve.

Women Of The Shadow Of Men As Second Class Citizens

But, from the Native American perspective, women's roles reflected their own It is hard to make any generalizations about indigenous societies, because North. cal perspectives on gender and sexuality in Native American societies. Scholarship One of the earliest areas of focus in Native women's history was the role of.

This, coupled with the larger history of colonialism, has put many women in incredibly vulnerable positions, having to leave their homes for unfamiliar spaces where they are unsupported and with minimal assets. This marginalization of Aboriginal women has put many women in desperate situations.

Scholar Sherene H.

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Bannan, H. Hoffman Ed. Terms Privacy Policy. The person was often purified with a sweat bath and told to fast and pray for four days. Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 3 3 , 23—

Razack has examined how space can be highly gendered and racialized, and has studied how gendered and racialized urban spaces have encouraged and condoned violent behaviour against Aboriginal women. Razack argues that in contemporary Canadian society, violence against Aboriginal women has become normalized, and that the circumstances of Aboriginal women tend to be presented outside of any historical context, absolving any responsibility or accountability to the people who perpetrate the violence and marginalization. This situation continues to play out in Canadian society, where to date over women have been murdered or are still missing in Canada since the s, many of them Aboriginal.

The government and police have been criticized for their lack of action, even as local residents were informing them of the suspicious pattern. The colonial patriarchal system also operated on the European assumption that women inherently had no capacity for political involvement.

1. Introduction

The federal government imposed the band structure as a new form of Aboriginal government to eradicate traditional hereditary leadership and facilitate federal influence and control. Band governments were created as strictly male domain, with women unable to become chiefs or band councillors. Women, who previously were key decision-makers and advisors, were now completely excluded from decision-making in their own communities:.

At the election of a chief or chiefs, or the granting of any ordinary consent required of a band of Indians under the Act, those entitled to vote at the council or meeting thereof shall be the male members of the band of the full age of twenty-one years. Many First Nations resisted the imposition of band council governance systems, but were ultimately unsuccessful in stopping them. Until , Indian women were excluded from political activity by law.

They were not allowed to vote or to hold office.

Women's Issues

In , the Indian Act was amended so that an Indian did not necessarily have to have status to be band member. With this amendment, the wording was changed so that the Indian Act no longer specified the sex of the voter. Because of this—essentially by default— women were finally allowed to vote in band elections.

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In , the government of Canada finally gave all Aboriginal peoples, male or female, the right to vote federally. Anderson, Kim and Bonita Lawrence, eds. Toronto: Sumach Press, Blair, Peggy J. Cole, Susan C. Jacobs, Beverley.


Jamieson, Kathleen. Lawrence, Bonita. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, Maracle, Lee. Vancouver: Press Gang, Razack, Sherene H. Silman, Janet. Sterritt, Angela. Suzack, Cheryl, Shari M. Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, and Jean Barman, eds. There are many customs that have seemed odd to the average American throughout the centuries, but Indians found these a normal way of life. Even the lifestyles of Native Americans were unique, from hunting animals to tanning buffalo hides.

Gender was a major …show more content…. Women gathered food in groups; they had their own societies for ceremonial activity. They raised their children together until the children were about six or seven, at which point boys generally were sent to spend time with male relatives to be taught their roles in life.

Girls remained with their mothers, learning the roles that they would eventually endeavor Finch Standards for women's behavior were strict. Women bore and raised children.

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Public praise focused on their reputations for hard work, productivity in tanning hides, making pottery or exquisite quillwork, or constructing buffalo-skin tepees. Most importantly, Native American women were critiqued for the actions of the children that they raised. These were the most lasting contributions that women made to society; therefore they reflected most favorably on them as individuals Native.

Therefore, to have a good reputation among their peers, their children had to behave well. The experience of vision seeking was characteristic of many but not all tribes. The seeker was sent out after having been instructed on what to expect. The person was often purified with a sweat bath and told to fast and pray for four days. After that, the nature of vision questing differs among tribes. In some areas vision quests were expected of all males; in some areas females were also expected.

go site Show More. Native American women were busy people. On the Plains, Indian women also set up and dismantled tipis, collected firewood, preserved meat, took care of children, cooked, fetched water, and made clothing. It seemed like an enormous workload compared to the hunting men did plus clearing fields for planting, completing religious and spiritual ceremonies, and war-making, among other tasks.

What Europeans seldom realized was that Indian women were more powerful than they appeared to be on the surface. Unlike European women who had few rights, Indian women often owned whatever possessions the family had. Women had the right to demand a divorce, and in a degree turn from the European system, it was the male who was left without possessions.