Gender Studies II
EN2012 – Winter 2011 – Terry Goldie
Lecture 4 – ‘Rez Sisters’ – Jan 27
o Adventure, going out.
- Referred to as a settler culture. A place like India was invaded by Britain but
remained the property of India. Where the British come in and invade but let
them pick up the pieces.
- A settler culture: you come in and settle on a land that is empty, but this land was
- The land was not ‘owned’ because the First Nations don’t have a sense of
ownership. They do not own the land, the land owns them. You can’t own the
- Europeans vs. Natives
o Anti-progressive – First Nations didn’t invent the wheel. The culture has to
die out because our culture is better.
o Positive – Native people are better than us. They are holistic and have a
better relationship with the land. Their spirituality is better. Those things
are better because they are Native. The culture is better but they still have
to die out.
- The land owns the people because the people are primarily concerned with being
indigenous (meaning of the place; they are of the land).
- Indian Affairs – worked good and bad to manage Native people. It created the
- Term ‘Rez Sisters’ comes from living on a reserve.
- Idea of the reserve is to give native people land that is theirs that they can own
collectively and respect collectively because of their failure to become like
American people to own the land individually.
- Immigrants but into the capitalist system fairly well. They set up what they need
to get going.
- The native people don’t believe in individualism but collectiveness.
- We still have Indian Affairs – everyone is trying to get out of it and there are a lot
of different answers and questions – the result is to give Native people the
availability to live individually on the reserve. Once you no longer have that
collective ownership you no longer have that reserve.
- British imperialism – you don’t impose a British idea, you take a British idea and
turn it into something that the British can take over.
- In Canada – a series of reserves where all of them are depressed. High suicide
rates and high alcoholism.
- Most reserves have no economic opportunity or engine. Many have chiefs that
are overpaid and corrupt (therefore unproductive). ‘Rez Sisters’
- Highway is a striving feminist – it’s interesting because people react to the play
and say it’s a bad representation of women.
- Highway has said that he sees native cultures as having a much better response
to women and a much less sexist culture than we have today. He sees all the
anti-feminist things on the reserves as the fault of the Catholics.