Much of the historical narrative constructed around Native women, when it even exists, focuses on the “Indian princess” stereotype; women like Pocahontas and Sacagawea who loved the white man, or white culture, more than her traditions and people, enough to help them at the expense of her own cultural identity. However, by more closely studying Native women during the Revolutionary era, modern feminist research is looking beyond the pale imitations of women that lie inert on the pages of history to discover the rich complexities of the choices faced by these women.
So much of what is known about Native American history and culture is seen through the eyes of European customs and mannerisms, if it is seen at all. We with the Women of the War project challenged ourselves to dive deep into the lives of the three women highlighted here, and thoughtfully engage with the material. The goal is to think critically about the lives of these women, the choices they made, and how the conjuncture of Native American custom seen through the eyes of the settlers created their legacies that are known today.
"If you could listen with clean ears,
and I could scratch these sureties
onto birchbark or rock,
you would remember always
where your freedoms and liberties
first captured your attention."
Below is an interactive map designed to show the connections between all three women highlighted by this project.