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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - First Nations.docx

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HIST 210
Steven J Maynard

First Nations, Two-Spirits, Three Genders: Race, Sex, and Colonialism I. Settler/Sexual Colonialism II. Beyond Gender Binaries A. Berdaches and Manly-Hearted Women: Gender B. Sexual Colonialism: European Projections of Sodomy C. Two-Spirit Marriages D. Decline of the Two-Spirit Tradition III. Aboriginal Marriage(s) A. White European View of Marriage B. Diverse Marital Landscape of the First Nations i. Plural Marriages ii. Inter-Racial Marriages C. The Indian Act of 1876 and Indian Agents D. 1886 Panic over the “Traffic in Indian Girls” i. Thompson’s 1887 Law on Native Marriages D. Polygamy and the 1892 Criminal Code IV. First Nations Resistance A. In the Indian Affairs Archive B. E. Pauline Johnson: “A Red Girl’s Reasoning” C. “Dance to Miss Chief”: Revival of the Two-Spirited Tradition I. Settler/ Sexual Colonialism • When settlers came to Canada they saw things they found to be peculiar. • Father Jacques Marquttes, 1670s • I take on women clothing while still young; never get married; lower themselves; do women’s chores; fight in war but use clubs • Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan, 1680s • Some young women will not hear of a husband; hunting women; to justify their conduct they say they have to indifferent a temper, their parents dare not censor this viscious conduct but approve it • Alexander Henry, Late 1700s and early 1800 o Met son of Chief Sucree, called him Beardash (Beardash?, term that was employed; derogatory term, series of negative meaning) o Curious compound of man and women • Berdache o Navaho – o Transforming o Changing o Manly hearted women o Male beardash specialized in beading, o Female beardash took on male • Looked like they were switching gender role, but it was more than that o What escpade Europeans is that it was about o Rather occupying a space inbetween two that they thought of as a third gender, had both male and female qualities, possessing two spirits o Placed them in this third gender o In some aboriginal cultures there were 4  Masculine  Feminine  Male two spirit  Female two spirit • Allowed for more space • Aborignal culture made room for gender crossing • There were in some cases rituals were all the kids were gathered up o Marking out the children who were of the • No negative connotation to being two spirited o Were highly revered o Given a high place o Seemed to have more skills than a single mand or single women o Treated with respect • Often the healers or shawmans • George Catling o White European painter o Painted the noble savage o Published a two volume project in 1841  Illustrated observation of aborignals  “Disgraceful degradation” = two spirited people but recognized that the aboriginal people see them as sacred  Did a painting “Dance to the Berdache” • Canadian equivalent Paul Kane o Romantic approach to painting aboriginal people • Were early ethnographers • These painters took their job seriousl • Most Europeans did not appreciate the special place that two-spirited people hold o Instead project onto them their own sets of meanings o Some kind of savage state • James Mackenzie; trader: o Crime of sodomy o They are having no social intercourse with Europeans • Several hermaphrodites – Lahontan • Sexual colonilastion – projection of Eurocentric understandings of sex onto what were primarily divergent ways of organizing gender • We have been all colonized by sexuality • What was most salient was what you wore • Gendered role had nothing to do with sexuality o Were not divided into heterosexual and homosexual • Two-spirit refers to someone who and should not be used to . Meant to refer to a social position NOT a sexual position. C. Two-Spirited Marriage • Two-spirited often married the same sex • Edwig Dunning: o Manly hearted women were bold, and sexually forward • John Tanner o White man who grew up with aboriginal people o Met a berdache women • Performing Gender o Judith Butler; Queer theorists o Gender as performative rather than something found in our biology • When manly women took wives it was not about to women being together. One women took on male duties and the women took on the female duties • Two women or two men but the gender roles looked like normative gender relations • Marriages between two-spirited people did not create any issues • Aboriginal people were very aware of the difference between their understanding of marriage and the European view of marriage • In early 1940 – Yale anthropologist o Compiled oral history of Klalish, a chief Charles James Nowell o Smoke from their fires – published book in 1941 o Saying that the culture was superior because they had more open gender ideals than Europeans D. What happened to the Berdaches? • The attempt to wipe out the Berdache • In the process to impose Christianity onto Aboriginals missionaries they wanted wipe out berdache • For the missionaries, aboriginal sodomy was related closely to berdache and was then needed to be wiped out • Many people turned their backs on two-sprited culture • Johnathan Kats: o Systematically imposed their own ideas (Europeans) III. Aboriginal Marriage(s) A. White European View of Marriage • Europeans imposed the notion of private property on to aboriginal people • Aboriginal used the notion of kin and communal • Marrigae and monogamy were two cornerstone to social aspects of colonization • Sarah Carter – The Importance of Being Monogamous o Monogamy – natural? Cannot consider it as natural. But consider it as a social construction • Monogamy and Marrigae were based Euro-Canadian ideals on how to organize a relationship • White Europeanss andCanadians made a link between marriage
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