Re-Storying Justice Within Tightwire and the Native Sisterhood

  • Author / Creator
    Scheuneman Scott, Isabel MS
  • Even though Indigenous women are the fastest growing prison population in Canada and around the world, scholarship regarding the storytelling of incarcerated Indigenous women is extremely limited. My dissertation centers the stories of Indigenous women within Tightwire, a prisoner produced newsletter that was published between 1972 and 1995 within the former Prison for Women (P4W) in Kingston, Ontario. I aim to document Indigenous women’s storied truths and lived experiences within Canada’s prison system which include, for example, the criminalization process as it relates to Indigenous women, the solidarity expressed by the Native Sisterhood that resulted from their experiences of inequality at P4W, as well as their dreams for Indigenous and social justice. Importantly, I balance my analyses between instances of colonial trauma (including experiences of incarceration) with stories of hope and imagination (such as ideas for achieving Indigenous justice). This practice enables me to avoid damage-centered research while still considering the very real effects of intergenerational trauma and ongoing colonialism. As an interdisciplinary criminologist, I integrate critical feminist criminology, Indigenous studies, women’s and gender studies, cultural studies, and the sociology of punishment to explore Indigenous women’s experiences of criminalization and victimization as well as their resistance and resilience. By bringing incarcerated Indigenous women’s knowledges and perspectives to the fore, my work endeavours to combat the negative effects of stereotypical representations of Indigenous and criminalized peoples – especially incarcerated Indigenous women. To this extent, my dissertation aims to create positive change that helps improve Indigenous lives. It also supports ongoing calls of Indigenous communities for settler accountability, reconciliation, and decolonization.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.