by Andrea Smith
South End Press
2005 Gustavus Myers Book Award Winner
A cutting-edge scholar and co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, the largest grassroots, multiracial feminist organization in the country, Andrea Smith (Cherokee) is an emerging leader in progressive political circles. In Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, Smith places Native American women at the center of her analysis of sexual violence, challenging both conventional definitions of the term and conventional responses to the problem.
Beginning with the impact of the abuses inflicted on Native American children at state-sanctioned boarding schools from the 1880s to the 1980s, Smith adroitly expands our conception of violence to include the widespread appropriation of Indian cultural practices by whites and other non-Natives; environmental racism; and population control. Smith deftly connects these and other examples of historical and contemporary colonialism to the high rates of violence against Native American women-as a group, the poorest women in the US, and the most likely to suffer from poverty-related illnesses and to survive rape and partner abuse.
Essential reading for scholars and activists, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide is the powerful synthesis of Andrea Smith's intellectual and political work to date. By focusing on the impact of sexual violence on Native American women, Smith articulates an agenda that is compelling to feminists, Native Americans, other people of color, and all who are committed to creating viable alternatives to state-based "solutions."