Native Women


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Native Women Essay, Research Paper

Anthropology Project

a). It would be difficult for a French Catholic historian who was a devout Catholic to write a book about Kateri Tegawitha that would show respect for her people, and be critical of those who have written about her before because it was normally unusual for a native to embrace Christianity so wholeheartedly. In the 17th century, the Mohawk and French were deadly enemies in constant struggle with each other. Many of the French were anti-Iroquois (including Mohawk), Xavier Garneau being the most influential of them all. He despised them, calling them des loups alteres du sang , translated means blood thirsty wolves. (Steckley 1999:60; Smith 1974:28) The Mohawk considered a barbaric and degraded race were ferocious and wild, as the animals that roamed the land with them. Many writers look at strength and courage, as well as her intent.

b). The portrayal of Chipewyan and Dene women are so negative and misleading because these women seen as submissive workers dominated by their husbands and fathers. They had no respect, considered lowly by their men. One in particular, Matonabbee, a Chipewyan trader; according to traditional Chipewyan culture included polygamy, with a man having two or three wives. Mantonabbee treated his wives as the economic assets; he acquired through trade but also through murder, theft and threat, an exceptionally large amount of pelts and European trade goods. Marriage was a way of hiring workers. (Steckley 89) It is their determination that drives them. In the case of Thanadelthur, here is a woman who gave her all in order to accomplish her task. She pushed herself to the limits when trying to reach another tribe to establish trade relations. However, she only did this to secure a better future for her people.

c). The Mi kmaq Mercenary Myth is popular among historians and other writers because of their connection to the French. It might answer the question of how the French were able to capture the Newfoundland s capital, St. John s, twice during the 18th century. It was this connection that they were suspected, including being blamed for the extinction of the Beothuk. Beothuk referred to them as Shanung or Shanack meaning bad indians . Maybe the French hired the Mi kmaq to kill off the Beothuk. Another popular reason of the spreading of this myth, is guilt. The English, who could have helped stop the extinction of the Beothuk, did nothing. Now, they are feeling guilt and were looking for someone, or in this case, peoples to blame for the disappearance of the Beothuk.

d). One reason why Catharine Sutton s story is not taught in schools in Ontario might be that she was a pioneer of women s liberation or feminism. The first native woman to challenge the Canadian government and win, a small win but nonetheless, a win. She stood for what she believed in, especially when someone else would have given up. She spent many a days away from her family when in Britain to try to convince the Queen, that her people deserved their land. Another reason could be that the Canadian government does not want such information available to the public. During that time, there was much corruption going on. Case in point, Lieutenant-Governor Francis Bond Head. He was ignorant of all the Native cultures surrounding him, he just wanted to move them all and dump them somewhere else without considering the consequences. Even George Brown, editor of The Globe, reported that There is no law or regulation which forbids Indians to buy land. Since, he was probably aware that she did not have any rights being a native woman and being married to an Englishman. It was this corruption and bribery to Catharine Sutton that eventually cost the government in the end.

2). Kateri, a woman who gave up herself to Christianity, her strength in God helped her become the woman she is. As she grew so did her faith, she was willing to do anything to prove herself. Even mortification, the act of personal pain the fact that she was willing to sacrifice her culture and life to a God shows her sense of belief she was doing the right thing. Kateri left everything to test herself.

Catharine Sutton, who through many hardships was able to win, battles with the Iroquois but also with the Canadian government. All her trials and tribulation helped her find the strength to continue her fight against the injustice done to her and her people. Catharine proved that with persistence anything is possible.

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