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... Altamirano-Jiménez (2009), Emberley (1990-1991, 1996, 2001), Monture-Angus (1995), Moreton-Robinson (2009), Smith (2007), and Turpel (1993) are a few of the Indigenous scholars that have shaped my articulation of a First Nations feminist theory. Because Indigenous groups differ greatly (TallBear, 2002), individual articulations of First Nations feminist theory also vary. ...
... Because Indigenous groups differ greatly (TallBear, 2002), individual articulations of First Nations feminist theory also vary. In North America, Abbott Mihesuah (2003), Chiste (1994), Emberley (1990-1991, 1996, 2001), Monture-Angus (1995), Smith (2005, 2007), and Turpel (1993) are prominent Indigenous feminist scholars whose work resonates with First Nations' ways-of-knowing. Each of these scholars contributed to my understanding and articulation of a First Nations feminist theory that is useful for my research needs. ...
... The foremost activity of First Nations feminist scholars is to expose the Indian Act's (1876) negative influence on the First Nations women, families, and communities (Emberley, 1996; Monture-Angus, 1995; Turpel, 1993). Through an investigation of the ...
A Canadian policy requires the routine evacuation of pregnant First Nations women who live on-reserve in rural and remote regions to larger centres to gain access to perinatal services. Despite this access, First Nations women's health remains poor and the First Nations infant mortality rate remains high. In this paper, we employ First Nations feminist theory to understand why the evacuation policy does not result in good health, especially for First Nations women. Four themes emerge: decolonization, self-determination, land, and community. Based on these results, we argue that First Nations' concepts of health are largely incongruent with the Euro-Canadian bio-medical model, a model that is foundational to the evacuation policy. Until health policies incorporate and are congruent with First Nations' epistemologies and related health practices, their health will continue to suffer. Policy recommendations are offered to promote First Nations health in a way that is consistent with First Nations' epistemologies.
... However, it is not an easy fit for Aboriginal women, and there are different perceptions of whether gender equality should be sought in the work force where Aboriginal women are present. Turpel-Lafond (1997) examined the Royal Commission on the Status of Women's mandate to "inquire into the status of women in Canada to ensure for women equal opportunities with men in all aspects of Canadian society." The goal of equality with White men, she suggested, creates a concept of gender equality that denies Aboriginal experiences and is conceptually and culturally inappropriate for First Nations women. ...
... She notes that in the Cree community, women are at the centre and men traditionally have a responsibility to be women's helpers. Responsibility to the people is the central organizing principle of the community, not equality (Turpel-Lafond 1997). ...
... The focus on Indigenous women is important because the intimate connection between the health of environments and the health of Indigenous peoples is most salient in the case of Indigenous women. More specifically, I explore how the principle of affected interest is activated by the potential impact of resource extraction and industrial development on the cultural and reproductive well-being of Indigenous women (Turpel, 1993). My central argument here is that to the extent that Indigenous women are disproportionately and gravely affected by decisions involving land and water, a commitment to democratic principles requires that their consent be recognized as having priority over lesser claims, such as those based on mere property interest. ...
Canadian governments increasingly invoke principles of mutual consent as central to the goal of including Indigenous peoples in decisions that effect them. However, despite particular Indigenous interpretations of consent, such as standards of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), Canada continues to interpret its obligations according to the Crown’s narrow fiduciary obligation to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples on the infringement of rights. I argue that upholding Canada’s commitments to democratic inclusion as well as its fiduciary obligations requires recognition of a much higher standard of consent. One reason for this is that certain rights to land should be considered inalienable insofar as they are necessary for the physical health and cultural well-being of those who are most affected by decision, Indigenous women. To accept constellation and mere assent as sufficient is to violate basic democratic norms as well as the common law doctrine of unconscionability.
... Indigenous feminist scholars recognize the vulnerability of Indigenous women in particular communities and in particular situations, but ascribe disparities in the power accorded men and women in indigenous cultures to the infl uence of Western beliefs (Kafarowski 2002;McIvor 1999;Turpel-Lafond 1997). Thus, the protection and empowerment of women in Indigenous communities would not hinge upon the enforcement of Western individualist liberal rights specifi cally for women, but rather a restoration of the Indigenous decision-making processes and political institutions that have been undermined by constant colonial interference (Alfred 1999). ...
In this paper, we explore how the concept of human security, which was developed primarily to assess and ameliorate dramatic challenges to life and livelihood in the 'Third World,' might be applied to an examina- tion of aspects of political participation of women in the Nunavut, Canada. We start with the assumption that functioning and appropriate political systems and institutions are fundamental to human security; and, that legitimate and eff ective Indigenous representation and the creation of political institutions appropriate to Indigenous peoples' senses of identity, community and culture are essential to Indigenous individuals' and communities' well being. First, we explore briefl y the vocabulary of rights active in the Canadian North and hypothesize the ways in which human security might be a useful way of thinking through the rigid juxtaposition of individual versus col- lective rights that so o# en characterizes discussions of Indigenous women's rights. Subsequently, we present a specifi c case study of failed institutional reform de- signed to ensure the participation of Inuit women in formal politics in Nunavut. Throughout, we examine how the concept of human security can contribute to thinking about the issues of political participation and the appropriateness of political institutions.
... Therefore, for women who do not perceive their society to be patriarchal, or do not believe they experience oppression from a patriarchal society, feminism is considered irrelevant . This is the case for some indigenous women, who argue that male domination is not universal (Turpel 1993;Monture-Angus 1995). Further, as Monture-Angus (1995) attests, accepting the western idea of 'equality' would mean accepting a lower position than what has historically been accorded to women in her culture. ...
... This concern is illuminated over and over again in debates about liberal equality and cultural difference when subjugated groups express frustration with the limited and biased manner in which the principle of liberal equality is manifest in practice. For instance, when Indigenous people argue that, liberal equality 'is simply not the central organizing political principle of our communities' (Turpel-Lafond, 1997, p. 68) they could be claiming that their cultural values do not include the value of equality and that equality is thereby 'culturally relative' as a political value, or, more plausibly, they could be claiming that the values they associate with equality -e.g. contributing to community, taking on family responsibilities, sharing with others -get short shrift in the liberal conception, which they reject. ...
Over the past several years, studies have shown that public decisionmakers in multicultural states sometimes essentialise the identities of cultural and religious minorities (Volpp, 2000; Renteln, 2005; Phillips, 2007; Song, 2007). In some cases, judges and legislators appear to be in the grip of cultural, racial and gendered biases that distort their decisions in ways that stereotype groups. States that adopt multicultural policies exacerbate these tendencies by providing incentives for citizens to use their cultural and religious identities strategically by exaggerating the importance or uniformity of a particular practice or belief in order to secure concessions from the state. In what is by now an extensive scholarship about the risks associated with decision making in multicultural contexts, several critics have proposed alternative approaches to responding to cultural diversity which specifically address the problem of essentialism. This chapter examines three alter-native approaches, each of which aims at avoiding essentialism. The first approach avoids essentialism by favouring individual self-identification over collective identity markers to establish the importance of a practice or tradition to an individual’s identity; the second approach asks that individual equality rather than cultural difference is the focus of protection; and the third approach situates minority rights in a framework of collective self-determination rather than cultural accommodation.
... At the same time that it provided a limited range of policy solutions, the category "women" was already fragmented as evident in assimilating groups, communities and minorities to a dominant national ideology without permitting them to be heard and their specific complains acknowledged in their own terms. This method of proceeding perpetuated epistemic and cultural violence denying them the respect due to dissenting viewpoints on the margins of a dominant way of life (Williams 1990;Monture-Okanee 1992;Turpel-Lafond 1997). ...
The Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women remains a "landmark" report in the 40 years since its publication (Canada 2006, 21; SWC 1995). The document has figured as a "watershed" for the public perception of women"s place in Canadian society (Bird 1974, 316; Burt, Code and Dorney 1993, 159-160; Paltiel 1997, 27). Described as the first "success" of second wave feminism (Black 1988, 26; Prentice, Bourne and Brandt 1996, 414, 416; Timpson 2001, 26), this marker event has been regarded as the "blueprint" for the second wave of the nation-wide women"s movements across Canada and to a lesser extent in Quebec (Kome 1985, 87-8; Vickers, Rankin and Appelle 1993, 26). A liberal feminist document embodying the dominant ideology (Adamson, Briskin and McPhail 1988, 12; Speers 2001) this public face has been examined critically from various standpoints from its point of origin (Dixon 1971; Findlay 1993; Sangster forthcoming; Farsoun and Mann 1974). It became a foundational document in Women"s Studies read by several generations of activists and academics (Eichler 2002; Andersen 1972, 1-3). It also Report also laid groundwork for the emergence of Women and Politics as a subfield in Canadian political science (Bashevkin 1985, 28; Brodie 1985). Yet scholarship about the RCSW has continued to rely almost exclusively over the past 40 years on the reflections and recollections of two of its chief participants, the Chairman and the Executive Secretary, for authoritative accounts of what happened (Bird 1997, 1990, 1974; Begin 2001, 1992, 1988, 1977), without exploring the Commission"s own documentation. Third parties have accepted the interpretations of interested parties without recourse to original sources. This lack of scholarly scrutiny suggests one compelling reason for thinking more about the RCSW remains to be learned than has been reported in the literature. Despite the Report's having remained a milestone against which women"s equality has been measure in the last half century, its relevance today shifts the inquiry to different questions than has been asked before. Does the false universalism of "Canadian women" irreparably taint what the Commission produced? Is the Report an early example 1 The title comes from a newspaper article by journalist Antony Westell announcing the tabling of the RCSW Report barely two months after a declaration of a state of "apprehended insurrection" used to justify use of the War Measures Act in mid-October when it had appeared that national security was under threate from domestic enemies. Women had previously been regarded as one such potential enemy, a fear put to rest by the document"s moderate tone. The Report had its own formidable source of power nonetheless.
... Overlapping the first wave of resistance literature (see Green, 1992, andTurpel, 1993), what Mohawk intellectual Audra Simpson (2014, p. 196) describes as the "second wave" of Indigenous women's writing emerged in the 1990s. New voices emphasize Indigenous women's diversity against homogenizing and dehumanizing stereotypes. ...
In this article, I review contemporary Indigenous women’s scholarship, describing transformations from 1985 to the present, first to characterize this scholarship on its own terms and second to situate this literature with respect to recent, nascent dialogues with anti-racist feminisms. What is the focus and range of Indigenous women’s scholarship, from 1985 until today? What does this work seek to do, that is, what are the intertwined political and scholarly aims of this scholarship? I suggest that Indigenous women’s scholarly writing is concerned with resilience, or survival, resistanceor challenges to colonial power and relationships, and resurgence, or a turning-inward to renew Indigenous knowledges and practices. In the discussion, I briefly consider how the increasingly rich and diverse field of Indigenous women’s theorizing and praxis informs an emerging dialogue with anti-racist feminist scholars within the academy and in the broader context of colonial Canada.
... Western feminism has often aimed to advance equality for women. Yet, many Indigenous societies were traditionally matriarchal, and as such, equality is not always seen as a useful organizing principle for Indigenous women (Green 2007;Turpel 1993). While Indigenous feminism can take many forms, Indigenous feminism can be understood as a political project that seeks pathways to liberation that attend to Indigenous women, especially those women excluded from their communities through colonial legislation (Green 2007). ...
Settler colonial violence targets Indigenous women in specific ways. While urban planning has attended to issues of women’s safety, the physical dimensions of safety tend to be emphasized over the social and political causes of women’s vulnerability to violence. In this paper, we trace the relationship between settler colonialism and violence against Indigenous women. Drawing on examples from community activism and organizing, we consider how Indigenous feminism might be applied to planning and point toward approaches to planning that do not replicate settler colonial violence.
Theories that emphasize shared group identities to
justify and delineate the rights of minority cultural groups are
problematic because they obscure the differences that exist among group
members. Disputes involving cultural communities are more clearly analyzed
using a politics of intragroup difference that relies on three central
precepts, namely, a relational conception of difference, attention to
relations of power and concern for individual autonomy. A framework based
on this foundation is better able to identify the significance of socially
constructed differences and better equipped to adjudicate disputes where
intragroup differences are raised.
Canada presents a paradoxical employment equity context. At the federallevel, legislative commitment to the principles of
employment equity, particularly regarding the public service, is one ofthe most extensive in the developed world (Agocs and
Burr, 1996; Leck and Saunders, 1992a; 1992b; Jain, 1990; Jain, et al, 1990). At the provincial level, however, not only are
employment equity policies and pro grams very poorly developed and unevenly applied, but there is extensive - and highly ideologically
charged - debate over its existence. The Canadian context suggests very different standards and attitudes to employment equity
in these different political jurisdictions.
Over the past 25 years, Aboriginal leaders, community advocates, children's and women's health specialists and Canadian government agencies have drawn increasing attention to the perceived need to undertake targeted initiatives to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in indigenous communities. In pursuit of this goal, a range of prevention campaigns have been undertaken – generally with funding from the State – urging pregnant women to abstain from alcohol. Because both risk and protective factors for FASD are intimately connected to the social conditions in which women become pregnant, give birth to and mother their children, FASD prevention campaigns targeting Aboriginal communities suggest possibilities that are both provocative and problematic for advancing movements for social justice, decolonisation and improved maternal and child health. In this essay, I consider how the gendered and racialised legacies of colonisation emerge alongside concerns for improved health and well-being of indigenous children to inform contemporary, state-funded efforts to prevent FASD. In so doing, I examine the ways that neoliberal economic and political trajectories of Canadian state formation intersect with some aspects of decolonisation movements to raise important questions about when, how and under what conditions colonial states support FASD prevention efforts among indigenous peoples.
In this article I argue that an analysis of "the State" is necessary in order to understand legal developments related to "family" that are relevant to efforts to combat the oppression of heterosexual women, as well as of lesbians and gay men. Drawing on recent debates concerning postmodernism and feminist theory, I review efforts to reconceptualize the nature of the state not as a monolithic institution, but rather as a set of arenas, or the site of various discursive formations. Because laws are generated from within, but are only part of concentrated forms of state power, feminists and progressive groups that are engaging with law must retain an explicit analysis of the state. This analysis must be more nuanced and displaced than it has been in instrumentalist and structuralist accounts, in order to explore the ways in which feminists have influenced legal change and whether this influence is positive or negative for different groups. The limits on law's ability to fundamentally transform the social relations of oppression must however be recognized. In particular, the relationship between overall state trends - for example privatization - and trends specific to certain state arenas such as courts and legislatures – for example enhanced women's rights to men's property and increased legal recognition of same sex couples - must be traced in order to determine the political impact of seemingly progressive movements in areas related to "the family."
The feminist movement has struggled over how to integrate transgendered persons into feminist activism, legal analysis, and politics. The issue has recently crystallized in the case of Kimberly Nixon, a male-to-female transgendered person who was refused a counseling position at the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter. This article explores the various dimensions of the conflict, locating the Nixon case within a discussion of transgendered human rights claims and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms equality analysis. The article challenges the strategic and legal choices made by each party. It links the difficult questions in Nixon to the limitations of rights discourse as a (feminist) (equality rights) tool. The article concludes that the best way to deal with this particular conflict is through sustained dialogue rather than further litigation.
A Canadian policy requires the routine evacuation of pregnant First Nations women who live on- reserve in rural and remote regions to larger centres to gain access to perinatal services. Despite this access, First Nations women’s health remains poor and the First Nations infant mortality rate remains high. In this paper, we employ First Nations feminist theory to understand why the evacuation policy does not result in good health, especially for First Nations women. Four themes emerge: decolonization, self-determination, land, and community. Based on these results, we argue that First Nations’ concepts of health are largely incongruent with the Euro-Canadian bio-medical model, a model that is foundational to the evacuation policy. Until health policies incorporate and are congruent with First Nations’ epistemologies and related health practices, their health will continue to suffer. Policy recommendations are offered to promote First Nations health in a way that is consistent with First Nations’ epistemologies.
The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (RCSW), called in 1967, was an effort by the Canadian federal government to address a broad range of issues related to the lives of women in Canada. When the report was completed in 1970, many of its recommendations and findings were hotly debated, and many recommendations remain unimplemented to this day. This article argues that the narrative of the RCSW is necessary to include in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). The first section of this article briefly introduces the human rights issues of the RCSW, encompassing the controversy over the Commission, its report and recommendations, the participation and reaction of Canadian women, and the change it provoked, or failed to provoke. The second section of this article provides a suggested set-up for a module of the RCSW in the CMHR, focusing on the narratives that should be presented to visitors, the images and multimedia that effectively represent the RCSW and possible interactive experiences for visitors. This article concludes by reinforcing the importance of the RCSW in the CMHR as a stepping-stone to consider other human rights issues within the museum. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
The Canadian constitution is to some extent characterised by its focus on equality, and in particular gender equality. This development of women’s rights in Canada and the greater engagement of women as political actors is often presented as a steady linear process, moving forwards from post-enlightenment modernity. This article seeks to disturb this ‘discourse of the continuous,’ by using an analysis of the pre-confederation history of suffrage in Canada to both refute a simplistic linear view of women’s rights development and to argue for recognition of the Indigenous contribution to the history of women’s rights in Canada.
The gain of franchise and suffrage movements in Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century are, rightly, the focus of considerable study (
The child protection system can be a highly consequential institution for mothers who are sex workers, yet scant attention has been paid to the health consequences of its policies on this population. Drawing on 31 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 19 Indigenous and 12 non-Indigenous sex workers in Vancouver, Canada, and using the stress process model and the concept of slow violence, this study proposes a typology of four trajectories through which child removal by this system shaped sex workers' health. Results suggest that child removal has health consequences beyond the conventionally thought of mechanism of mental distress and related health sequelae, to additionally alter women's social conditions, which also carried risks for health. Notably, while trajectories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous sex workers were similar, Indigenous participants, whose families are disproportionately impacted by long-standing colonial policies of child removal, were more severely jeopardized. Findings highlight how child removal can enact violence in the form of reverberating harms to sex workers' health, further reinforcing their marginalized statuses. This study calls for greater attention to how the child protection system (CPS) may influence the health of marginalized mothers, including how health inequities may be both causes and consequences of interventions by this system.
Dans l’arrêt R c Jarvis, la Cour suprême du Canada (CSC) a interprété pour la première fois la disposition du Code criminel sur le voyeurisme. Le présent article examine la jurisprudence pertinente en matière de voyeurisme qui a précédé l’arrêt Jarvis, y compris trois questions litigieuses qui ont façonné les interprétations judiciaires antérieures : la pertinence de la jurisprudence relative à l’article 8 de la Charte, la perspective de la vie privée en public et l’applicabilité de l’analyse du risque. Bien que les motifs de la CSC ne reconnaissent pas explicitement les questions d’égalité en jeu, son traitement de ces trois questions reflète sans doute trois volets de la théorie et de la jurisprudence féministes qui favorisent l’égalité. Cet article explore ce chevauchement, suggérant que les motifs de la CSC dans l’arrêt Jarvis peuvent être compris comme étant implicitement féministes. Reconnaissant que des motifs explicitement féministes auraient un plus grand potentiel de reconnaissance de l’égalité, l’auteure affirme que les motifs de la CSC représentent une étape positive vers une conception du droit à la vie privée en ce sens.
Prior to the colonization of Turtle Island, Indigenous women held leadership roles within their communities. Colonization brought patriarchy and racism which attacked women’s identities. Violence toward Indigenous women and girls continues to be a tool of the colonial state while many Indigenous peoples have internalized patriarchal beliefs which manifests in the way they view women’s identities. This article argues that patriarchy may have infiltrated so-called “traditional teachings” that dictate rules about women’s participation in spiritual and cultural practices. It highlights the voices of Indigenous women who discuss this exclusion and how they are taking back their power.
The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (RCSW), embedded in liberal hegemonic feminist ideology, is largely the landscape that influenced and continues to influence the simultaneous politicising and depoliticisation of the mainstream women's movement in Canada since the 1970s. The testimonies and recommendations of the RCSW predominately represented the needs and voices of white, heterosexual, Anglophone and Francophone, able-bodied, middle-class women. Using an intersectional critical race feminist framework, this article analyses the "making" of RCSW "against the grain" in relation to discourses of nation-building and racialisation. Drawing on extensive historical archival data and relevant in-depth expert interviews, I argue that the RCSW as a colonial archive furthered nation-building projects while crystallising Indigenous women and women of colour as the Other. The article illustrates how the feminist organisation, Vancouver Status of Women, is embedded in the colonial archive of the RCSW, one that reproduced nation-building discourses of essentialism, racialisation, and exclusion.
An illusory binary has emerged around Canadian immigration and citizenship. “Bad Canada” encapsulates a sinister, Harper Conservative state whereas “Big Canada’s” “sunny” discourses and imagery are linked to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. Here, the latter’s rhetoric is counterposed by the reality/materiality of the continued prominence of capital and human capital with their classed, racialized, and gendered consequences. Prevailing econocentrism was accelerated by the Harper Conservatives, and it persists now, despite narratives to the contrary.
Women's perceptions of abuse differ deeply from official characterizations of them and are largely absent from legal discourse on male domestic abuse despite two decades of reform initiatives. This article traces the enforcement of male domestic dominance and violence through the failures of the criminal justice system to incorporate women's perspectives in systemic responses to male spouse batterers. I argue that it is factors such as official labelling of abuse by the juridical system, including police, which determine whether abuse is ‘officially’ recognized as such and whether the male violent family is stabilized by policies, practices, and non-intervention. This interaction between definitions and institutional responses makes it crucial to understand how women define their own experiences of abuse. The article concludes that male domestic abuse remains a contested area of juridical understandings and practices. Insofar as the ‘official’ definition of her situation impacts on the abused woman's self-perception, and on her access to resources she might use to get out of danger, it determines the organization of ‘domestic abuse’ as well.
Research that reveals how specific local practices connect to global trends continues to be important in feminist work in education. An understanding of the influence of historical, social, economic and political contexts is especially important in gender equity policy research as this is often a contested and hostile terrain (Gelb and Hart, 1999; Ozga, 2000). Also, through regional and national comparisons we can see how education policy is influenced by social movements and larger institutional structures and processes. When we see similar gender equity activity — or the lack of it — across provinces, states, territories, countries and continents, we know that education is no longer — if it ever was — merely a local matter. There is more going on.
En parallele avec les luttes des femmes sur le terrain, un courant theorique du feminisme autochtone se developpe depuis la fin des annees 90. Celui-ci revisite le narratif de la colonisation et la theorie postcoloniale en y integrant l’analyse genre/« race ». L’auteure tente d’inscrire cette production intellectuelle au sein du paradigme intersectionnel universitaire et de la rendre accessible a un public francophone qui la connait souvent moins bien. En replacant la violence sexuelle et le patriarcat d’Etat au centre du debat, les feminismes autochtones arrivent a percevoir une dimension politique souvent laissee de cote par les analyses intersectionnelles.
In this thesis I will examine the role values play in the co-production of knowledge between traditional knowledge and science. In order to understand the role values play, I will first develop clearer definitions of traditional knowledge, science, and co-production than the problematic definitions currently employed in the literature. I will also create new terms to replace the inadequate terms currently in use. “Traditional knowledge” will become “Indigenous peoples’ understandings” (IPUs), and science will become “scientific understandings” (SUs). I will show that values that underlie the concepts of IPUs and SUs are compatible, allowing co-production between the two groups to occur. The definitions of IPUs and SUs will then be held as a standard by which co- production projects can be measured. I will examine several benefits co-production projects offer, and deal with problems posed by co-production. Finally, I will briefly outline problems with current policy governing co-production in Canada.
An important arena of feminist activity following the Report of the RCSW was the university. During the expansion of Canadian universities in the late 1960s, the enrollment of female undergraduate students quadrupled, while that of men doubled (RCSW, 1970: 169). With this increase in women's enrollment, women's claims for justice were increasingly voiced on university campuses. Similar to events in other industrialized countries, autonomous women's groups broke away from the 'new left' student movement, accepting its socialist rhetoric but reacting against its sexism. Though the participants in these campus groups were for the most part white privileged women, both students and teachers, a significant emphasis was placed on creating links with the wider community. The commit
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