Critical Indigenous scholars have extensively examined the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/Girls (MMIWG) along the Highway of Tears (HoT) in British Columbia and have linked the phenomena to varying underlying colonial structures.[i] However, these analyses often overlook the central role of settler-colonialism in imposing patriarchal ontologies, which perpetuate ongoing Indigenous femicide. To address this theoretical oversight, this document adopts Linda Smith’s framework of ‘gendering’ as a means of decolonial praxis[ii] to incorporate feminist social reproduction theory into the discourse of Critical Indigenous scholars’ commentary on MMIWG. The aim is to shed light on how the problem of MMIWG is rooted in the imposition of colonial, patriarchal ontologies that disrupt matriarchal social reproduction along the HoT. Furthermore, this document argues that a critical examination of how settler-colonialism disrupts matrilineal social reproduction should occupy a more central position within postcolonial discourses focused on addressing MMIWG along the HoT as per considering the higher matrilineal governance of nations along the HoT.[iii] Ultimately, this document argues that a more comprehensive understanding of settler-colonialism’s impact on displacing Indigenous matrilineal social reproduction should be given greater emphasis when discussing the causal factors surrounding MMIWG along the HoT. By addressing the theoretical oversights and incorporating a gendered analysis within a decolonial framework, the paper aims to advocate for more effective approaches to address the issue.
[i] Lawrence, "Gender, race, and the regulation of native identity in Canada and the United States.” 4-31.
[ii] Smith, "Twenty-five indigenous projects.” 75-90.
[iii] Nyce, "Family of Louisa Oyee: A Matriarch in the Nisga'a Nation.” 5-15.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Elliot Goodell Ugalde