Mon. Apr 3| Rebuilding the Tribal/First Nation: Mohawk Girls and the Indian Act

Elizabeth Rule
April 18, 2018

Monday, April 23rd, at 4:00pm. Smith Hall 115

In this presentation, I explore the intersections of gender, indigenous nationhood, and reproductive freedom as expressed in Mohawk Girls, a 2014 sitcom created by Mohawk filmmaker Tracy Deer and, as I suggest, a contemporary cultural production of indigenous feminist resistance to settler colonialism. I read Mohawk Girls through the lens of Canada’s 1876 Indian Act in order to reveal that the roots of the reproductive pressures and policing facing Mohawk women at Kahnawá:ke--and indigenous women in the United States and Canada, generally--take root in the settler colonial objectives of installing patriarchy, dismantling indigenous governments, and assimilating indigenous communities, all of which remain codified in federal law and policy. My analysis of Mohawk Girls highlights contemporary indigenous women’s cinematic expressions of this history and its present manifestations, and showcases indigenous feminist interventions to confront this violent past while forging a decolonized future.

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