Indian Country 52 #1 – Marginalized
“If the indigenous woman is not the mythical super-Indian presented through contemporary cultural revitalization or her half-sister, a Disneyfied Pocahontas good sex-servant, she is the drunk, the slut, the mother of several children from different fathers, the welfare recipient, the woman who sleeps in an alley.
“So much of our colonial history was about portraying native women as not as good as white women, just a bunch of prostitutes and promiscuous types,” says McKay. “Then there’s that dichotomy. You become recognizable when you perform as the Pocahontas, but the other recognizable form is the indigenous women who’s on 20th Street because of her own making. “All I ever want to be is regular,” McKay says.
She is deeply critical of the churches’ impact on indigenous culture, and speaks of Aboriginal peoples being “colonized” by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. (Today the colonization continues by evangelical Protestants.)
McKay, who was raised as a Catholic, says the churches cemented patriarchy into indigenous culture beginning with the Jesuits who accompanied Samuel de Champlain to New France and left writings recording their disapproval of indigenous women’s social equality and open sexuality.
“The priests were quite intentional in how they were going to Christianize native people, and patriarchy has seeped through the wall of Aboriginal culture because of Christianity, because of colonialism. We cannot just rid ourselves of our colonial history and claim a pure state.””
-The Tyee, Not Pocahontas, Not a Super-Indian, Not a Drunk and Not a Slut.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #1 – Marginalized.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
Creative Commons License
This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.