"I Give You Back" Indigenous Women Writing to Survive elizabeth archuleta The University of Alberta recently hosted a conference called Indigenous Women and Feminism: Culture, Activism, and Politics.1 Although the call for papers stated that "indigenous women and feminist issues remain undertheorized within contemporary feminist critical theory," a colleague reminded me that Indigenous women and feminist issues have not been undertheorized, at least not in our own communities; we have always theorized our lives.2 After considering her standpoint, I recognized how the academy has led Indigenous women to believe that the various ways we use language to interpret the world or produce knowledge are not acts of theorizing, a tendency that points to problems in the way academics think about knowledge production. Because mainstream research has not used Indigenous women's intellectual traditions--constructed and utilized within our own communities--are we to believe that the ways in which we make meaning of our lives or understand the world are not theory? Research methods are socially constructed, and communities decide what constitutes knowledge. Therefore, Indigenous women should not accept the notion that our rhetorical practices do not constitute sites of knowledge production or that we cannot use our own words and
Studies in American Indian Literatures – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Apr 6, 2006
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