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Welcome bloggers,

My name is Rena Squirrel, I am a first year student attending the University of Alberta, I am currently enrolled in ANTHRO 207: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. In this class I have been assigned a term project that is to examine a social and cultural movement.The purpose of examining a social and cultural movement is to create a better understanding and promote awareness to  the movement.

It is not completely understood when asked what is a social movement, prior to doing research for this assignment I would have identified a social movement as a bunch of hooligans waving signs around. After much research I have come to realize that social movements represent much more, a social movement is an effective tool used to create change though awareness.Characteristics of social movements include:

  • informal networks of people,
  • based on shared beliefs and solidarity,
  • mobilize about conflictual issues,
  • through the frequent use of various forms of protest, and
  •  intends to change something that is status quo  (della Porta and Diani 1999:16).

There are many different kinds of social movements, such as womans liberation movement, civil rights movement, and human rights movements. For my project  I am going to focus on an Aboriginal social movements, more specifically Aboriginal womans social movements in Canada.

There are many names to address Aboriginal peoples in Canada, such as Native American, First Nations, and Indigenous. Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel wrote an article called Being Indigenous: Resurgences Against Contemporary Colonialism, in this article they state “Indigenousness is an identity constructed, shaped and lived in the politicized context of contemporary colonialism. The communities, clans, nations and tribes we call Indigenous (Aboriginal) peoples are just that: Indigenous (Aboriginal) to the lands they inhabit, in contrast to and in contention with the colonial societies and states that have spread out from Europe and other centres of Empire.”

Aboriginal peoples living in Canada are defined in the Constitution Act , 1982, Section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

Aboriginal social movement is a movement created by Aboriginal peoples for various reasons such as: to resist structural violence within the government and to ensure the rights of Aboriginal peoples.

As I have mentioned earlier I am going to focus on Aboriginal woman’s social movement. More specifically I am going to examine the Stolen Sisters social movement. The Stolen Sister social movement is a human rights response to discrimination and violence against Aboriginal women in Canada.

In this blog I am going to explore the history of colonization and structural violence towards Aboriginal women in Canada. How has this history influenced Aboriginal women’s social movement?



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