Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women's Legal Histories in the Puget Sound and Beyond
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 5:30pm
Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women's Legal Histories in the Puget Sound and Beyond



WEDNESDAY | April 24th, 2019

Cramer Hall
RM 271


Legal Codes & Talking Trees: Indigenous Women’s Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946 (Yale University Press, 2016) is the first book to focus on indigenous women of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. In most western states, it was difficult if not impossible for Native women to inherit property, raise mixed-race children, or take legal action in the event of rape or abuse. Through the experiences of six Indigenous women who fought for personal autonomy and the rights of their tribes, Jagodinsky explores a long tradition of active critique of the U.S. legal system by female Native Americans generally unacknowledged by historians of the North American West. Jagodinsky will discuss the cases of three Indigenous Puget Sound women who asserted rights only vaguely promised in territorial and federal law. In their efforts to claim the protections of the state and privileges of justice, these women demonstrated both the personal and political aspects of Indigenous women's sovereignty in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Katrina Jagodinsky is the Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where she teaches legal and western history and is also the inaugural Jack and Nancy Farley Distinguished Visiting Scholar in History at Simon Fraser University. Her research highlights women’s challenges to their sexual and economic vulnerabilities in the long nineteenth century. She has previously published in American Indian Quarterly, Western Historical Quarterly, and Western Legal History and has chapters in books from University of California Press.