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Indigenous Women Activism

While acknowledging colonialism and continued efforts to disenfranchise Indigenous women and their communities, this year’s Women’s Week’s events celebrate Indigenous knowledge and power. The stories of women from Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; Wayuu who occupy territory split by the Colombia-Venezuela border; and, Indigenous peoples throughout the Pacific Islands. These women have been unapologetic in their activism and building of institutions and cultural spaces where people might flourish. This panel will bring together local leaders and experts on Indigenous women’s activism to celebrate the power of indigenous languages, culture, and knowledge, and share histories of successful activism in the arenas of politics and the law.

Faculty Panelists

Hokulani Aikau

Hōkūlani K. Aikau is a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi associate professor in the Division of Gender Studies and the Division of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. Dr. Aikau is the author of A Chosen People, A Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaiʻi (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), Feminist Waves, Feminist Generational Cultures: Life Stories from Three Generations in the Academy, 1968 – 1998 (co-edited with Karla Erickson and Jennifer L. Pierce, University of Minnesota Press, 2007), and with Vernadette Gonzalez, she has coedited Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi (Duke University Press 2019). Her next ethnographic project, Hoaʻāina: Returning People and Practices to Heʻeia, funded in part by UH Sea Grant, is a collaboration with Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, a Native Hawaiian non-profit working to restore wetland taro farming on the windward coast of Oʻahu.

Carolina Bloem

Carolina Bloem is an assistant professor of Latin American Studies and Spanish at Salt Lake Community College. Her research focuses on contemporary Wayuu orali(tera)ture production with an emphasis on its reception and impact within their own communities while, at the same time, serving as bridges to the non-Wayuu, alijuna, communities. Bloem also focuses on indigenous women’s activism in the Guajira region of Colombia and Venezuela.

Angela L. Robinson

Angela L. Robinson (Wito clan of Chuuk, Micronesia) researches within the fields of affect studies, Indigenous studies, and performance studies.  She received her Ph.D. in Gender Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently the inaugural Mellon-Pasifika Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Utah.


Women's Week 2020

This event is part of Women’s Week - an annual, week-long event focused on the issues and challenges faced by those who identify as female. Topics are relevant to today’s socio-economic and political climate, intersectionality, and cultural movements. This year’s Women’s Week theme “Allies in Activism” focuses on the power of Indigenous women activists in and beyond the United States.

While acknowledging colonialism and continued efforts to disenfranchise Indigenous women and their communities, this year’s events celebrate Indigenous knowledge and power. The stories of women from Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; Wayuu who occupy territory split by the Colombia-Venezuela border; and, Indigenous Peoples throughout the Pacific Islands celebrate the power of Indigenous languages and culture, share concrete examples of successful activism in the arenas of self-determination, politics and the law. These women have been unapologetic in their activism and building of institutions and cultural spaces where people might flourish.

Organizers