Women’s Absence, Women’s Power: Indigenous Women and Negotiations with Mining Companies in Australia and Canada


O’Faircheallaigh, Ciaran. 2013. “Women’s Absence, Women’s Power: Indigenous Women and Negotiations with Mining Companies in Australia and Canada.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 36 (11): 1789–807.

Author: Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh


This article documents the agency of indigenous women in negotiations surrounding major resource projects on indigenous lands. The dominant view in the academic and activist literature is that indigenous women are excluded from negotiations, which helps explain their failure to share in project benefits. The author’s experience as a negotiator for indigenous communities in Australia and his research in Canada reveals a different picture, indicating that indigenous women often play a central role in negotiations. The article seeks to explain the inconsistency between the findings reported here and much of the literature, in terms of a broader tendency in the latter to downplay the agency of women in relation to mining; and its failure to adequately recognize the multiple and complex ways in which indigenous women can influence negotiations, and the role of specific cultural, institutional and political contexts in shaping women’s participation.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, aboriginal, power, land rights, mining

Topics: Economies, Ethnicity, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America, Oceania Countries: Australia, Canada

Year: 2013

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