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date: 21 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In 1939, an Ojibwe woman named Naynaabeak was involved in a conflict that shows some of the complexities that American Indians experienced throughout the history of settler colonialism in the United States. Her family did not live on a reservation, but they were Ojibwe people and tribal citizens and her home and fishing spot were historically Ojibwe places. The complex legal world defined by borders disrupted Naynaabeak’s ability to make a living, and her conflict was simply part of everyday existence for many Ojibwe women. This chapter considers the hurdles that Naynaabeak’s generation overcame in their determination to make a living, and how their efforts to remain on their lands, fishing grounds, forests, hills, and mountains—and especially their sacred places—enabled their descendants to maintain indigenous communities which still exist. The chapter reviews the literature about gender and labor in American Indian history to illuminate its major themes.

Keywords: American Indian subsistence, fishing, Ojibwe/Anishinaabeg, assimilation, gender roles, American Indian labor, American Indian women, archaeology, Women’s material culture, American Indian education

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