The Fourth World

An Indigenous Perspective on Feminism and Aboriginal Women’s Activism

By Grace Ouellette  

Paperback $24.95

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This book is not about feminism. Rather, feminism is the basis of the discussion, an example of how understanding oppression must consider a number of barriers. Euro-Canadian feminists rarely address the circumstances that are unique to First Nations’ women, instead working with the assumption that all women are a part of a similar struggle. Ouellette attempts to confront these barriers. Throughout interviews with a number of women, she highlights the following four questions. To what extent do Aboriginal women understand, experience and articulate their oppression? To what extent do colonized women perceive racism as the source of their oppression? To what extent do Aboriginal women view male domination within their own Aboriginal societies as the source of the oppression? How do Aboriginal women articulate racism and gender oppression?

The author argues that there will always be a dichotomy between European and Aboriginal thought. This book makes an important contribution toward a greater understanding of Aboriginal thought and an Aboriginal perspective on society.

The Fourth World theory is an integrate part of the “Circle of Life” philosophy of Aboriginal people. In keeping with oral traditions, these teachings are passed on at gatherings and in private conversations. They compromise a distinctly Aboriginal worldview.

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