Voices of Indianness: the lived world of Native American women

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Brayboy, Mary E., and Mary Y. Morgan. “Voices of Indianness: the lived world of Native American women.” Women's Studies International Forum 21.4 (1998): 341-354.


The authors interviewed four Native American women (one Lumbee) from four different tribes. They had four conversations (which they tape-recorded and transcribed) with each woman. Each woman was raised in a Native American setting, attended college or obtained professional training in a non-Native setting, and had worked professionally for at least five years. The women's ages ranged from 39 to 51. The purpose of the authors' research was “to explore what it is like to be a Native American woman living in a dual world” and to understand “how cultural, educational, professional, and relational experiences influenced the lives of four contemporary Native American women” (p. 341). The Lumbee subject, called “Jena: a vigilant woman,” discussed discrimination and feelings of inequality she experienced growing up in Robeson County, and the strong family and community support she also experienced. The authors derived the following shared themes from the interviews and discussed each theme by using remarks from each of the four women: spirituality, Indianness, mother-daughter bonding relationships, racial discrimination, and reciprocity and inclusiveness.

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