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Social Science Violence In Society

Keetsahnak / Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters

edited by Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell & Christi Belcourt

contributions by Stella August, Tracy Bear, Robyn Bourgeois, Rita Bouvier, Maya Ode’amik Chacaby, Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group, Susan Gingell, Michelle Good, Laura Harjo, Sarah Hunt, Robert Alexander Innes, Beverly Jacobs, Tanya Kappo, Tara Kappo, Lyla Kinoshameg, Helen Knott, Sandra Lamouche, Jo-Anne Lawless, Debra Leo, Kelsey T. Leonard, Ann-Marie Livingston, Brenda Macdougall, Sylvia Maracle, Jenell Navarro, Darlene R. Okemaysim-Sicotte, Pahan Pte San Win, Ramona Reece, Kimberly Robertson, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Beatrice Starr, Madeleine Kétéskwew Dion Stout, Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy & Alex Wilson

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2018
Violence in Society, Women's Studies, Indigenous Studies
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In Keetsahnak / Our Murdered and Missing Indigenous Sisters, the tension between personal, political, and public action is brought home starkly as the contributors look at the roots of violence and how it diminishes life for all. Together, they create a model for anti-violence work from an Indigenous perspective. They acknowledge the destruction wrought by colonial violence, and also look at controversial topics such as lateral violence, challenges in working with “tradition,” and problematic notions involved in “helping.” Through stories of resilience, resistance, and activism, the editors give voice to powerful personal testimony and allow for the creation of knowledge.

It’s in all of our best interests to take on gender violence as a core resurgence project, a core decolonization project, a core of Indigenous nation building, and as the backbone of any Indigenous mobilization. —Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Contributors: Kim Anderson, Stella August, Tracy Bear, Christi Belcourt, Robyn Bourgeois, Rita Bouvier, Maria Campbell, Maya Ode’amik Chacaby, Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group, Susan Gingell, Michelle Good, Laura Harjo, Sarah Hunt, Robert Alexander Innes, Beverly Jacobs, Tanya Kappo, Tara Kappo, Lyla Kinoshameg, Helen Knott, Sandra Lamouche, Jo-Anne Lawless, Debra Leo, Kelsey T. Leonard, Ann-Marie Livingston, Brenda Macdougall, Sylvia Maracle, Jenell Navarro, Darlene R. Okemaysim-Sicotte, Pahan Pte San Win, Ramona Reece, Kimberly Robertson, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Beatrice Starr, Madeleine Kétéskwew Dion Stout, Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Alex Wilson

About the authors

Kim Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has published over thirty book chapters and journal articles and is also the principal investigator for two SSHRC research projects: Bidwewidam Indigenous Masculinities (2011-2014) and Indigenous Knowledge Translation in Urban Aboriginal Settings (2014-2017). Anderson is a long-standing advocate for Indigenous women and families and is regularly involved in community-based research and teaching in this area.

Kim Anderson's profile page

Maria Campbell is a Métis writer, playwright, filmmaker, scholar, teacher, community organizer, activist, and elder. Halfbreed is regarded as a foundational work of Indigenous literature in Canada. She has authored several other books and plays, and has directed and written scripts for a number of films. She has also worked with Indigenous youth in community theatre and advocated for the hiring and recognition of Indigenous people in the arts. She has mentored many Indigenous artists during her career, established shelters for Indigenous women and children, and run a writers’ camp at the national historical site at Batoche, where every summer she produces commemorative events on the anniversary of the battle of the 1885 North-West Resistance. Maria Campbell is an officer of the Order of Canada and holds five honorary doctorates.

Maria Campbell's profile page

Christi Belcourt is a Michif (Métis) visual artist with a deep respect for Mother Earth, the traditions and the knowledge of her people. In addition to her paintings she is also known as a community based artist, environmentalist and advocate for the lands, waters and Indigenous peoples. She is currently a lead organizer for the Onaman Collective which focuses on resurgence of language and land based practices. She is also the lead coordinator for Walking With Our Sisters, a community-driven project that honours murdered or missing Indigenous women. Her work Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead) commemorates residential school survivors, their families and communities to mark the Prime Minister's historic Apology in 2008 and is installed at Centre Block on Parliament Hill commissioned by the Government of Canada. She was named the Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council in 2015. In 2016 she won a Governor General's Innovation Award and was named the winner of the 2016 Premier's Awards in the Arts. Author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010). Christi's work is found within the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People's Hall.

Christi Belcourt's profile page

Stella August's profile page

Tracy Bear is a Nehiyawiskwew (Cree woman) and member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan. She is currently the director of the Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI) at McMaster University. She was the director of the Indigenous Women & Youth Resilience Project at the University of Alberta and the academic lead on the Indigenous Canada MOOC.

An accomplished academic, Bear has made significant contributions to Indigenous scholarship and the national Indigenous education landscape. Her current research includes social justice, prison abolition, body sovereignty, sexuality and gender, contemporary Indigenous art, and Indigenous literature.

Tracy Bear's profile page

Robyn Bourgeois' profile page

Rita Bouvier is an educator and a writer. She has published two collections of poetry with Thistledown Press, Blueberry Clouds (1999) and papîyâhtak (2004), and has been nominated for several Saskatchewan Book Awards. Bouvier's poetry has been translated into Spanish and German, and her work has appeared in literary anthologies and musical and television productions. In 2008 the Gabriel Dumont Institute published a collaborative children's book with artists Sherry Farrell-Racette and Margaret Gardiner and featuring the title poem from papîyâhtak titled Better That Way. Bouvier lives in Saskatoon.

Rita Bouvier's profile page

Maya Ode’amik Chacaby's profile page

Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group's profile page

Susan Gingell teaches and researches decolonizing and transnational literatures at the University of Saskatchewan. She is the editor of two volumes in The Collected Works of E.J. Pratt and of “Textualizing Orature and Orality,” a special issue of Essays on Canadian Writing (#83).

Wendy Roy is an associate professor of Canadian literature at the University of Saskatchewan. She has published a book on women’s travel writing in Canada, Maps of Difference: Canada, Women, and Travel (2005), as well as essays on writers Margaret Laurence and Carol Shields, among others.

Susan Gingell's profile page

MICHELLE GOOD is a writer of Cree ancestry and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After three decades of working with Indigenous communities and organizations, she obtained her law degree. She earned her MFA in creative writing at UBC while still practising law. Her novel, Five Little Indians, was nominated for the Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. It received the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Five Little Indians was also chosen for Canada Reads 2022. Michelle Good’s poems, short stories and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada.

Michelle Good's profile page

Laura Harjo's profile page

Sarah Hunt's profile page

Robert Alexander Innes is a member of Cowessess First Nation and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. He is the author of Elder Brother and the Law of the People and co-editor, with Kim Anderson, of Indigenous Men and Masculinities.


Robert Alexander Innes' profile page

Beverly Jacobs' profile page

Tanya Kappo's profile page

Tara Kappo's profile page

Lyla Kinoshameg's profile page

Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016 Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women's Initiative for being committed to end gender-based violence. Helen was selected as a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author. This is her first book.

Helen Knott's profile page

Sandra Lamouche is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman) from the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta. She is a wife, mother of two boys with braids, champion women’s hoop dancer, award-winning educator and two-time TEDx speaker. She has a bachelor of arts in Native American studies and is currently completing a thesis on Indigenous dance as a determinant of well-being. Sandra and her family live in Blackfoot Territory (Treaty 7), the heart of powwow country in southern Alberta.

Sandra Lamouche's profile page

Jo-Anne Lawless' profile page

Debra Leo's profile page

Kelsey T. Leonard's profile page

Ann-Marie Livingston's profile page

Brenda Macdougall's profile page

Sylvia Maracle's profile page

Jenell Navarro's profile page

Darlene R. Okemaysim-Sicotte's profile page

Pahan Pte San Win's profile page

Ramona Reece's profile page

Kimberly Robertson's profile page

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Leanne's books are regularly used in courses across Canada and the United States including Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making, Lighting the Eighth Fire (editor), This Is An Honour Song (editor with Kiera Ladner) and The Winter We Danced: Voice from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (Kino-nda-niimi editorial collective). Her paper "Land As Pedagogy" was awarded the Most thought-provoking 2014 article in Native American and Indigenous Studies. Her latest book, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance is being published by the University of Minnesota Press in the fall of 2017. As a writer, Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King. She has published extensive fiction and poetry in both book and magazine form. Her second book of short stories and poetry, This Accident of Being Lost is a follow up to the acclaimed Islands of Decolonial Love and was published by the House of Anansi Press in Spring 2017. Leanne is Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and a member of Alderville First Nation.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's profile page

Beatrice Starr's profile page

Madeleine Kétéskwew Dion Stout's profile page

Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy's profile page

Alex Wilson is the founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and Executive Editor of Environmental Building News, the premier green building industry resource. A widely acknowledged green building expert for over 30 years, he has authored countless articles and several books including Green Building Products and The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings.

Alex Wilson's profile page


  • Short-listed, Scholarly and Academic Book Award | Alberta Book Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta

Editorial Reviews

"Many chapters in Keetsahnak will appeal to academic and non-academic thinkers and teachers alike - allowing readers to think holistically about community remembrance, mourning, celebration and healing."

Tracey Lindberg

"The essays in Keetsahnak outline historical, legal, cultural, philosophical, and psychological perspectives on the topic of missing and murdered women in Canada. Their power is in detailing the affective consequences of living in pain, grief, rage; simultaneously they offer strategic examples of resilience, legal challenges, and paradigm shifts. There is an immediate and personal tone to each essay that provides a transparency to the process and a depth to the volume, reminding us that we have all been affected by the horrors of this reality. This is a serious and important read… [A]n excellent resource for university students taking courses in the fields of sociology, Indigenous Studies, Women Studies, or Social Work.”

Michelle LaFlamme, The Pacific Rim Review of Books, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Winter/Spring 2020)

"If one wishes to examine this international issue of concern on a personal level, wherein the subject is deeply internalized by many Indigenous women and then shared thoughtfully with the reader, this is a good book with which to do so."

Great Plains Quarterly

"The stories in this book are presented with power, truth, humility, and beauty. They reveal complexities of women's lives that cannot be adequately reflected in statistics on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women."

Hilary N. Weaver

"Contributors to the anthology include family members of MMIWG2S, survivors of violence, activists, artists, counsellors, lawyers, and academics who provide insights from unique vantage points. Their incisive analyses offer us compelling testimonies, models of accountability and care, and proposals for action. Rooted in deeply personal stories, these pieces remind us that antiviolence organizing and theory must emerge out of everyday lived experiences.... Keetsahnak is imbued with an urgent call to rethink, complicate, and deepen our understandings of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people."

Native and Indigenous Studies, Spring 2021

"Keetsahnak will be a staple resource in future research on violence against Indigenous women and girls....future historians and critics studying Indigenous resistance, both at the barricades and through artistic production, will want this book on their shelves."

Margery Fee

"Keetsahnak defies categorisation. The book is fundamentally a collective project that seeks to understand and raise awareness of the issue of MMIWG2S, examining the roots of the violence and registering the resilience of Indigenous peoples. Through chapters that are at once political and personal, intimate and analytical, the volume brings together over 35 contributors to honour Indigenous lives. Yet, the volume emphasises the need for action as well as remembrance... [The] lessons borne out of Keetsahnak’s wide-ranging dialogue are invaluable for Indigenous and allied scholars, policy makers, and activists working to bring an end to this crisis."

Rebecca Macklin, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Autumn 2021

"Indigenous women, these keepers, continue to go missing and be murdered in staggering numbers in Canada. This new collection of essays, most of which were written by Indigenous women scholars and activists, was edited by Campbell, Kim Anderson, and Christie Belcourt. The essays look at the violence against, the challenges facing, and the action taken by their sisters in this country."

Prairie Books Now

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Anishinaabe Poetics in Art and Words

by (author) Rene Meshake
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Conversations about Indigenous Manhood

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interviewee Joseph Boyden, Tomson Highway, Lee Maracle, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Basil H. Johnston, Daniel David Moses, Louise Bernice Halfe, Taiaiake Alfred, Janice C. Hill, Kim Anderson, Thomas Kimeksun Thrasher, Brendan Hokowhitu, Ty P. Kawika Tengan, Warren Cariou, Alison Calder, Daniel Heath Justice, Adrian Stimson, Terrance Houle, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Richard Van Camp, Joanne Arnott, Neal McLeod & Gregory Scofield
cover design or artwork by Dana Claxton

A Recognition of Being, Second Edition

Reconstructing Native Womanhood

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Indigenous Men and Masculinities

Legacies, Identities, Regeneration

edited by Robert Alexander Innes & Kim Anderson
interviewee Warren Cariou, Daniel Heath Justice, Gregory Scofield, William Kahalepuna Richards & Thomas Ka’auwai Kaulukukui
contributions by Ty P. Kawika Tengan, Brendan Hokowhitu, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Sam McKegney, Bob Antone, Phillip Borell, Kimberly Minor, Richard Van Camp, Scott L. Morgensen, Robert Henry, Allison Piché, Sasha Sky, Leah Sneider, Erin Sutherland, John Swift, Lisa Tatonetti & Lloyd L. Lee

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Indigenous Mothering as Global Resistance, Reclaiming and Recovery

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Life Stages and Native Women

Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine

by (author) Kim Anderson
foreword by Maria Campbell

Strong Women Stories

Native Vision and Community Survival

edited by Kim Anderson & Bonita Lawrence

A Recognition of Being

Reconstructing Native Womanhood

by (author) Kim Anderson

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