This is a post written by Sâkihitowin Awâsis that was originally published on website Kwe Today.
We need Indigenous feminisms because feminism does not imply it is for everyone. Mainstream and whitewashed, it isn’t always the friendliest if you are queer, trans, or a Person of Colour. We are creating space to acknowledge power and privilege. I am read as cis-gendered, able-bodied, English speaking, and a light-skinned Two-Spirit. I say “we” because I believe that we are part of each other, but in no way intend to speak for everyone, or anyone for that matter. I say “we” as a term of solidarity, appealing to Two-Spirits and people with whom I have common experiences.
We need Indigenous feminisms because the very way we understand gender and sexuality is colonial. We are surrounded by notions of what it means to be a man, woman, have a gender and access to power that were imposed upon us. In dominant discourse there are assumptions made about sexualities based on an interpretation of our gender of which we have no ownership. Reinforced everyday, everywhere, the polar binary has become ingrained in how we feel about ourselves. We are part of a colonial landscape that does not meaningfully reflect who we are or how we want to be. This violence is an extension of the systems that oppress and marginalize women.