Previous research exploring gender role conceptualization within the United States has predominantly centred white, middle-class individuals’ experiences. These analyses are therefore limited based on their lack of attention to ethnic, legal/political, and cultural differences within the United States, especially in regard to Indigenous populations. Building on previous exploring the family as a site of gender role development, and resilience, Tribal Critical Race Theory is used in this article to contextualize our findings with particular attention to how colonization has reinforced patriarchy and served to elevate European American thought and experiences. In semi-structured life-history interviews, participants described shifting gender norms in attempts to resist assimilation ideals and a perception of motherhood as holding capacity for challenging settler culture and reclaiming power. Prominent themes for participants included: (a) the role of strong women within the community; (b) the continuum of patriarchal to egalitarian gender norms and beliefs; (c) the roles of mothers and impact of motherhood; (d) norms surrounding early childbearing and marriage; and (e) gendered caretaking. This research finds that tribal women, as primary sources of socialization for children and community, are resisting patriarchal and colonial gender-related expectations and messages and forging a path of strength and resiliency.
- Native american
- gender norms