Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Digging Up Medicines: Life Stages and Native Women

Interview: Kim Anderson, Author, "Life Stages and Native Women"


Life Stages and Native Women

Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine
Kim Anderson

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 Métis, 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.

“The elders that share stories in this book continue to give us a sense of place, a sense of safety, courage, and vision. Their stories make us laugh and teach us to be better people, families, and communities…. This book has been constructed from multiple layers of stories in that spirit of rebuilding, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

– Maria Campbell, from the Foreword

About the Author

Kim Anderson is a Cree/Métis educator. She is an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford, and is the author of A Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood, and is the co-editor, with Bonita Lawrence, of Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival.  

Other contributors: Maria Campbell (Foreword)

Book Details


Life Stages in Ottawa
Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, 299 Montreal Road, Ottawa, on September 14 from 6-9pm.



Saskatoon launch of Life Stages and Native Women by Kim Anderson

Tuesday, September 27th 2011

Kim Anderson launches her new book, Life Stages and Native Women: Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine at 7:30 pm at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon.

October 4, Launch, 7:30 pm
Northern Women’s Bookstore
Thunder Bay, ON

Oct. 18: Launch, 6:00-7:30 pm
Aboriginal Resource Centre, University of Guelph
Guelph, ON

Oct 20 
Life Stages inToronto
Toronto Women¹s Bookstore, 73 Harbord Street, 6:30 pm

Congratulations Kim on all your fine work, coming to fruition!