Minnie Grey, "From the Tundra to the Boardroom and Everywhere In Between: Politics and the Changing Roles of Inuit Women in the Arctic"
The roles of women in Inuit society have changed drastically in the last few decades. We have moved from the land into established communities, and many of us have taken on positions in local organizations, or in community, regional, and national politics, as Inuit have gained more control over the issues that affect us. Many Inuit women have, and continue to play, very important roles in the establishment of land claims and in shaping the future face of our communities and the place of Inuit in Canada, and the circumpolar world. All the while, we have continued to play our traditional roles of mother, caregiver, and providers for our families. As one might expect, these many roles have required a very challenging balancing act of skills and positions in our families and beyond. Some of the experiences and lessons learned from life in Nunavik and other Arctic regions will be presented and discussed, focusing on the variety of roles I, as an Inuk woman, have taken on at the family, community, regional, national, and international levels.
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, "Revisiting Talking Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism"
In my book, Talking Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism, I made whiteness visible in power relations between white feminism and Indigenous women by examining their respective self-presentation and representation in various public discourses. I argued that there are dominant subject positions in society that are implicated in relations of ruling. These subject positions are historically-constituted and represented in discourse through and beyond the activity and experience of individual subjects. I demonstrated that the subject discourse "middle-class/white/woman" is a structurally located position that operates discursively and ideologically. This paper will examine responses to my book, in the form of reviews by white feminists. I am concerned in this presentation to ask how whiteness opens up and forecloses certain ways of reading the Indigenous 'other' and to consider how this problematic has shaped and informed reviewers' readings of this work.
Rebecca Tsosie, "Native Women and Leadership: An Ethics of Culture and Relationship"
This presentation stems from research on Native leadership that I have been involved with for the past few years with my colleague, Carol Lujan, a sociologist. Our study examines the construction of leadership among contemporary Native men and women from various tribal backgrounds and regions. In doing this research, I became interested in the expression of leadership among Native women, and how this ties into notions of land and community, and cultural views of relationship and responsibility. I will offer an account of what I consider "Native feminist ethics," which I believe frames these women's responses to leadership, and also ties into traditional epistemologies. This account provides a template for understanding the cultural perspectives of leadership that inform contemporary Native women's experiences. It is also fundamentally different from the construction of "feminist ethics" that has emerged from scholars in Women's Studies. The presentation is designed to engage a community-based vision of female leadership. The second part will situate this account of "Native feminist ethics" within the legal and ethical framework for domestic and international policy on indigenous rights.