Abstract

Abstract:

From residential schools and sterilizations to assimilation-driven adoption and foster care abuses, settler colonialism targets Indigenous women in their roles as the reproducers of Indigenous cultures and nations, deeming them unfit and meeting them with violence. Such policies, both historical and contemporary, fuel and inform ongoing attacks on Indigenous motherhood. In this essay, I analyze the brutality leveled against famed Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq by settler environmentalists in 2014 after she posted online a photograph of her infant daughter next to a dead seal in solidarity with the pro–seal hunt Indigenous activist "Sealfie" campaign, as a primary example of this violence. I argue that the attacks on Tagaq in her positions as an Indigenous mother, activist, and celebrity showcase an unbroken onslaught of gendered violence coordinated by the settler states and its agents and serving assimilationist efforts through the current moment. I conclude with a discussion of how a focus on attacks on Indigenous motherhood, an understudied aspect of gendered violence against Indigenous women, can provide new insights into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women tragedy and Canadian state efforts to redress it.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 741-754
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-14
Open Access
No
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