Kim Anderson

I am a Cree/Métis writer and educator, with roots in western Canada but born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. I’ve always been interested in education, and have worked in literacy, cross-cultural education (with Canada World Youth), educational tourism, and community based education with Indigenous peoples. This work afforded me plenty of travel in my youth, for which I am grateful! I became a mother in 1995, which propelled me into a new phase both personally and professionally, and I began to research and write about motherhood and culture-based understandings of Indigenous womanhood. Since that time I have become known as an advocate of Indigenous women and families, and I continue to do community engaged research and teaching in this area. Prior to taking a faculty position at Wilfrid Laurier University, I worked for over fifteen years doing social and health policy consulting for Indigenous communities and organizations. As a historian, I have been focused on documenting the genius and beauty of non- patriarchal, kin-centric Indigenous societies, and then strategizing around reclaiming these ways as part of decolonization and healing.
Life Stages and Native Women
Author: Kim Anderson
Traditional Territory: Cree, Métis
Format: Paperback
  • A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.

    The process of "digging up medicines" - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Metis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women's roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women's identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.

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