Just Powers Podcast

Indigenous Women and Knowledge—S1E3

In this episode we will be reading “Indigenous Women and Knowledge” by Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez & Nathalie Kermoal. This text is featured in Living on the Land. Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place, also edited by Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez & Nathalie Kermoal and published through Athabasca University Press in 2016.

Living on the Land examines how patriarchy, gender, and colonialism have shaped the experiences of Indigenous women as both knowers and producers of knowledge. From a variety of methodological perspectives, contributors to the volume explore the nature and scope of Indigenous women’s knowledge, its rootedness in relationships both human and spiritual, and its inseparability from land and landscape.

“The contributors to this book, the majority of whom are Indigenous, aim at grounding Indigenous women’s knowledge in the land both historically and presently. They also explore the ways in which Indigenous women have resisted colonial attempts to assimilate and subordinate them. The chapters in this book represent Indigenous women’s experiences beyond their domestic role and insists on connecting them to a variety of tasks within and beyond the household. To this end, the book aspires to prevent the continued neglect of Indigenous women’s knowledge and contribution to their peoples and society at large. We do not mean to suggest by our emphasis on women’s knowledge of land that women’s participation in the production of knowledge is limited to the land and territory. Others have challenged prevalent representations of Indigenous women’s domesticity by demonstrating how their work and labour have contributed to their urban households and communities’ economy while subsidizing the market sector (Williams 2012). We do not theorize Indigenous knowledge as a practice either. Instead, the purpose of this book is to highlight the diversity of women’s experiences by exploring and examining the lives of women as they are evidenced in oral history, interviews, economic processes, and life histories.” (Altamirano-Jimenez & Kermoal, 2016, p. 4-5).

The full book is available to download for free online. Founded in 2007, Athabasca University Press is Canada’s first open-access scholarly press and is committed to bringing the work of emerging and established scholars to the public.

Reference: Altamirano-Jimenez, Isabel & Kermoal, Nathalie. “Indigenous Women and Knowledge”. In Living on the Land. Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place. Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez & Nathalie Kermoal, editors. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2016.