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.
Maria Campbell (born 6 of 26 Apr 1940 near Athlone, Edmonton) is a Métis author, playwright, broadcaster, filmmaker, and Elder. Campbell is a fluent speaker of four languages: Cree, Michif, Saulteaux, and English. Park Valley is located 80 miles northwest of Prince Albert. Her first book was the memoir Halfbreed (1973), which continues to be taught in schools across Canada, and which continues to inspire generations of indigenous women and men. Four of her published works have been published in eight countries and translated into four other languages (German, Chinese, French, Italian).
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.
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.
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.
Michelle Good is a Cree writer and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After working for Indigenous organizations for twenty-five years she obtained a law degree and advocated for residential school survivors for over fourteen years. Good earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia while still practising law and managing her own law firm. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada, and her poetry was included on two lists of the best Canadian poetry in 2016 and 2017. Five Little Indians, her first novel, won the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize. Michelle Good now lives and writes in the southern interior British Columbia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Short-listed, Scholarly and Academic Book Award | Alberta Book Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta
"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
"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
"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."
"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
"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)
"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."
"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
Other titles by Kim Anderson
Injichaag: My Soul in Story
Anishinaabe Poetics in Art and Words
Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
A Recognition of Being, Second Edition
Reconstructing Native Womanhood
Indigenous Men and Masculinities
Legacies, Identities, Regeneration
Mothers of the Nations
Indigenous Mothering as Global Resistance, Reclaiming and Recovery
Life Stages and Native Women
Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine
Strong Women Stories
Native Vision and Community Survival
A Recognition of Being
Reconstructing Native Womanhood
Other titles by Maria Campbell
Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and their Descendants
Life Stages and Native Women
Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine
People of the Buffalo
How the Plains Indians Lived
Stories of the Road Allowance People
The Revised Edition
Three Plays by Metis Authors
The Book of Jessica
A Theatrical Transformation
Other titles by Christi Belcourt
Other titles by Rita Bouvier
Other titles by Susan Gingell
Other titles by Michelle Good
Other titles by Robert Alexander Innes
Other titles by Helen Knott
Other titles by Brenda Macdougall
Other titles by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
A Short History of the Blockade
Giant Beavers, Diplomacy, and Regeneration in Nishnaabewin
The Cure for White Ladies
Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg
This is our Territory
Writers on Writing in Canada
This Accident of Being Lost
Songs and Stories
The Gift Is in the Making
Dancing On Our Turtle's Back
Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence
Other titles by Alex Wilson
Catch a Fire
Fuelling Inquiry and Passion Through Project-Based Learning
Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings - 10th Edition (PDF)
Save Money, Save the Earth
Green Building Products (PDF)
The GreenSpec® Guide to Residential Building Materials -- 3rd Edition
Your Green Home (PDF)
A Guide to Planning a Healthy, Environmentally Friendly, New Home