Over the course of my research for these blog posts, one of the most interesting correlations I noticed was between trauma and incarceration. When I began this project, one issue I had to reconcile with myself was the problematic nature of the comparison I was making between native women and 19th century female prisoners. By comparing these experiences, was I saying that I think native women are in some way responsible for their captivity? Was I downplaying the severity of women’s crimes or accidentally discrediting their agency?
Now that I am deeper into this research, I have found that what ties these women together is not the experience, but the trauma. In both prisons and missions, women traumatised, both physically and mentally. Their captors/oppressors used the same tactics such and rape and forced isolation to control and dominate these women. However, the most important thing I learned through my readings and research and general contemplation was that the women I looked at were all active parts of their survival. They developed coping mechanisms and social strategies to form communities within their traumatic landscapes that helped them make the most of their situations.
If anything, working on this blog has really inspired me to keep doing this research. The hardest aspect of finishing the project for me was that I kept getting overwhelmed by the amount of work I wanted to do. There are so many interesting stories to tell, so much information to uncover, the sheer magnitude of these issues is astounding, and I want to keep doing it. It’s also so pertinent to issues and discussions going on today. Over the last couple weeks, so many times I have read articles in the current media that I wanted to cover on this blog. I do not consider my blog done. The amount of resources that I ran out of time to include, I will include in the future. I’m super pumped on this right now, and I encourage you guys to check out what I’ve written (if you want).