Living on the Land
240 pages, 6 x 9
23 colour figures and 4 maps
Release Date:18 Jul 2016

Living on the Land

Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place

Athabasca University Press

An extensive body of literature on Indigenous knowledge and ways ofknowing has been written since the 1980s. This research has for themost part been conducted by scholars operating within Westernepistemological frameworks that tend not only to deny the subjectivityof knowledge but also to privilege masculine authority. As a result,the information gathered predominantly reflects the types of knowledgetraditionally held by men, yielding a perspective that is at oncegendered and incomplete. Even those academics, communities, andgovernments interested in consulting with Indigenous peoples for thepurposes of planning, monitoring, and managing land use have largelyignored the knowledge traditionally produced, preserved, andtransmitted by Indigenous women. While this omission reflectspatriarchal assumptions, it may also be the result of the reductionisttendencies of researchers, who have attempted to organize Indigenousknowledge so as to align it with Western scientific categories, and ofpolicy makers, who have sought to deploy such knowledge in the serviceof external priorities. Such efforts to apply Indigenous knowledge havehad the effect of abstracting this knowledge from place as well as fromthe world view and community—and by extension the gender—towhich it is inextricably connected.

Living on the Land examines how patriarchy, gender, andcolonialism have shaped the experiences of Indigenous women as bothknowers and producers of knowledge. From a variety of methodologicalperspectives, contributors to the volume explore the nature and scopeof Indigenous women’s knowledge, its rootedness in relationshipsboth human and spiritual, and its inseparability from land andlandscape. From the reconstruction of cultural and ecological heritageby Naskapi women in Québec to the medical expertise of Métis women inwestern Canada to the mapping and securing of land rights in Nicaragua,Living on the Land focuses on the integral role of women asstewards of the land and governors of the community. Together, thesecontributions point to a distinctive set of challenges andpossibilities for Indigenous women and their communities.

Nathalie Kermoal is of Breton descent (a peoplewhose territory is situated on the West coast of France). She is aprofessor as well as the Associate Dean Academic at the Faculty ofNative Studies at the University of Alberta. She is a bilingualspecialist (French and English) in Canadian history and morespecifically in Métis history. IsabelAltamirano-Jiménez is Zapotec from the TehuantepecIsthmus, Mexico. She holds a joint appointment as Associate Professorin the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of NativeStudies at the University of Alberta.

Contributors: Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez, DeniseGeoffroy, Kathy L. Hodgson–Smith, Kahente Horn-Miller, ShaleneJobin, Nathalie Kermoal, Carole Lévesque, Leanna Parker, Brenda Parlee,Geneviève Polèse, Zoe Todd, Kristine Wray.


Introduction: Indigenous Women and Knowledge - IsabelAltamirano-Jiménez and Nathalie Kermoal

1 Distortion and Healing: Finding Balance and a “GoodMind” Through the Rearticulation of Sky Woman’s Journey -Kahente Horn-Miller

2 Double Consciousness and Cree Perspectives: Reclaiming IndigenousWomen’s Knowledge - Shalene Jobin Vandervelde

3 Naskapi Women: Words, Narratives, and Knowledge - Carole Lévesque,Denise Geoffroy, and Geneviève Polèse

4 Mapping, Knowledge, and Gender in the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua- Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez and Leanna Parker

5 Métis Women’s Environmental Knowledge and the Recognition ofMétis Rights - Nathalie Kermoal

6 Community-Based Research and Métis Women’s Knowledge inNorthwest Saskatchewan - Kathy L. Hodgson Smith and NathalieKermoal

7 Gender and the Social Dimensions of Changing Caribou Populationsin the Western Arctic - Brenda Parlee and Kristine Wray

8 “This Is the Life”: Women’s Harvesting, Fishing,and Food Security in Paulatuuq, Northwest Territories - Zoe Todd


List of Contributors

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