Native Women: The Doubly Denied

Year Published:  1983  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX2836

Abstract:  This edition of One Sky Report is a collection of ten articles from several Canadian journals, including New Breed Journal; the Bulletin of the Canadian Association in Support of Native Peoples, Akwasene Notes, the Mohawk Nation publication; Canadian Dimension; and Briarpatch.

The first article, "Women in Egalitarian Society," explores the role and positon of Indian women prior to colonialization. Within this sgalitarian society, women "held power and decision making over the labour," and had the same decision making power over their sexual lives." Women were not bound or dependent upon men either individually or collectively; "they had mutual decision making powes with men within the collective society." This occurred when the labour became specialized to produce commodities for exchange, rather than for internal use.

The second article, "Forced Inequality Between Women and Men," examines the effects of the arrival of the Europeans and the fur trade on Indian women. The communal egalitarian society was destroyed; a classic society and the forced inequality between men and women within Indian society resulted.

"Oppresssion of Native Women in U.S. and Canadian laws" outlines the effects on section 12(1)(b) of the Canadian Indian Act. This statute states that an Indian woman who married a person who is not an Indian loses her status as an Indian. Any Native woman who marries any non-Indians , or any Indian outside her Band, or an Indian outside Canada, is affected, as are any children she may have. She loses her nationality, her right to live in her birthplace, her family ties, her right to family property and inheritance, and various voting, health and educational rights. An Indian man is not affected by such law - any woman he marries automatically obtains the full rights of a registered Indian.

The reaminaing article in NATIVE WOMEN: THE DOUBLY DENIED discuss Native women in Canaidan jails, the over-representaiton of Native children in the clientele of child welfare agencies, birth control, and Native woemn in the urban setting.

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