wewomen Newsletter
Strong Women - Pam Palmater

Pam Palmater - author of Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity


Palmater recently authored Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity which discusses the exclusion of Indigenous women and their children from being recognized as Indians as well as exclusion from their communities.

“In the Indian Act, the very first people to be excluded from the definition of Indian were illegitimate Indian girls and Indian women who married non-Indians. It’s constantly tied together, and you know the colonial governments knew really early on that the best way to disempower the Nation was to target the women, because the women had equal if not more power in some of the First Nations,” she says.

“They were the ones that passed on language and culture, they were the ones that put leaders in place and took them out of place. It was always a target not just because they didn’t like women. It was because they wanted to get at the larger Indigenous nation.”

Unfortunately, the Indian Act is only one of a few barriers that Indigenous women have come up against.


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