Women’s & Gender Studies 300  Missing Indigenous Women: A Global Perspective

Sample Syllabus from Winter, 2019


Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action. CPRC, 2010. Anderson, A. Brenda, Wendee Kubik & Mary Rucklos Hampton, eds.,

Keetsahnak: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters, Anderson, Kim, Maria Campbell & Christi Belcourt, eds. The University of Alberta Press, 2018.

Heartberries, Mailhot, Teresa Marie, , Doubleday, 2018.

Course Definition & Goals:

Why are Indigenous women around the world more likely to “go missing” than non-Indigenous women? What does “sexualized racism” mean and how is it perpetuated through cultural scripts, institutions and systems? What is conveyed in using the terms genocide and femicide?  This class will examine the systems that intersect and perpetuate racism and sexism in colonized countries, specifically Canada, Australia, Mexico and Guatemala. The social and economic effects of globalization on women will be studied, including the issue of sex trafficking abroad and in Canada. Expertise and voices from community activists will be integrated into this class, as will the first-hand stories of family members of missing women. Up-to-date analysis of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s and Girls Inquiry will be done collectively throughout the semester. Emphasis will be placed on not only understanding the issues but also celebrating leadership of Indigenous individuals and movements, including the movement forward with Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action.

Assignments and Due Dates:

Reflective Journals – Due February 8 & April 5 – 30%

Due Feb. 15 – Analysis of MMIWG Inquiry – 10%

Research Paper Outline, Thesis Statement, Bibliography: Due March 1 – 10%

Article Presentation to Table Groups: March 15 OR March 22 – 15%

Research Paper: 8-10 pages – Due April 5 – 35%


This class is about locating ourselves within a world containing diverse worldviews. We do this work on Treaty Four Land, acknowledging our position in this colonised nation with its new commitment (through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action) to create a different nation based on principles of mutual respect and accountability. We also do this work on a campus that seeks to uphold the dignity of each individual regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religious worldviews. In turn, each of us is equally responsible to uphold the dignity of one another, to listen attentively and to comment in only constructive ways.  Being in a class means being part of a community. This means you are accountable to others and can also expect certain things from one another. Please take other people into consideration in the language you choose, your behaviour towards one another (which includes things like chatting in the middle of a lecture!) and being open to new ideas. Everything you do or say has an impact on others in this classroom. Please take that “ripple effect” seriously.


Jan.11 Introduction, Framework, Thematic & Theoretical Questions: Epistemic Violence within Colonialism

Film: Pride & Prejudice: The Road to Human Rights and Multiculturalism

Jan.18Canada: Sexualized & Racialized Violence

Lecture: “The Pocahontas/Squaw Motif”

Guest: Ntawnis Piapot (Media: Hopes & Tropes)

Readings: UR Courses: “Histories of Colonization, Generations of Hurt”

UR Courses: “Colonial Courts & Settler Justice”

Torn from our Midst, pgs 1-16, 133-141, Keetsahnak, Chapters 5 & 10

Jan. 25 The Legacy of Residential Schools and the Healing Process for All and “Self-Care – Can we Study Trauma/How Can we Study Trauma without Becoming Traumatized?”

Film: “The Healing Circle” & Guest: Elder Betty McKenna


Keetsahnak, Chapters 2, 3 & 6, Torn from Our Midst, 19-24

Feb. 1 Systemic and Institutional Efforts to Change: The TRC & and the MMIWG Inquiry

Guest: Shana Pasapa – Power Of Women (POW)

Readings:Keetsahnak, Chapters 11, 13, 14

Feb. 8 Systemic and Institutional Efforts to Change con’t:

Guest Speaker: Inspector Honey Dwyer, RCMP

Crystal Geisbrecht, Amnesty International Fieldworker Readings:

Torn from Our Midst, pgs. 53-56, Keetsahnak, Chapter 8, 15 & 16

Due: First Hand in of Reflective Journal – 15%

Feb. 15 Mexico: Historical Context of Colonialism, Globalization & Machismo

Film: “Senorita Extraviada

Readings: Torn from our Midst, pgs. 27-33, 57-68,113-116

Due: Analysis of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls Inquiry – 10%

Mar. 1 Mexico: Grassroots Resistance and Activism

Film: “Marta Perez – San Salvador Attenco

Readings: Luther Library: from yellow journal “Representations of Murdered and Missing Women,” pgs. 26-37, 48-51

Torn from Our Midst, pgs. 182-184,188-207

Due: Thesis Statement, Outline & Bibliography – 10%

Mar. 8 Australia: Colonialism, Residential Schools & The Missing Generations

Readings: Heartberries, first half

Mar. 15 Australia

Film: “Rabbit-Proof Fence” & Table-Talk Article Discussions

Readings: Heartberries, second half

Mar. 22 Guatemala

Guest Speaker: Leonzo Barreno and Table-Talk Article Discussions

Torn from Our Midst, pgs. 69-74, pgs 113-132

Mar. 29 Sex-Trafficking Abroad and in Canada


Torn from Our Midst, pgs. 221-243, Keetsahnak, Chapter 9

April 5 Resistance Movements  Guest: Sue DeRanger


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Global Femicide by Brenda Anderson; Shauneen Pete; Wendee Kubik; and Mary Rucklos-Hampton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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