The stories we tell ourselves about how we came to be have important implications for identity and gender relations. For example, California Indian women, most well-known for basket making and ethnobotany, remain highly invisible in mainstream history. Colonial stereotypes about American Indian women creates the mythology that grandmothers and aunties lacked agency and power in Native communities and beyond.
Dr. Theresa Gregor will share her research about the role and agency of Kumeyaay women as told through two Kumeyaay creation stories. Examining these stories, and other such studies, provide a place-based and tribally specific lens to understand indigenous women’s lives, experiences, and identities. This vital research ultimately reveals the significant intellectual and cultural contributions of American Indian women to their communities.
Theresa Gregor is a Kumeyaay scholar who has done extensive work on decolonizing ethnographic research by reviewing original source material and offering modern interpretations based on fluent language speakers re-interpreting interviews. She has worked on the effects of the Kumeyaay language and culture on perspectives of the relationship of humans to nature and the world around them. She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach.