Event—McNickle Center

Violence, Resilience, and Urban Native Women: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis


Native women are overwhelmingly ignored in research on gender-based violence. Native women residing in urban locales are particularly marginalized, as they are viewed as “less Native” by both non-Native researchers and at times by Native people living on reservation lands. While research highlighting the prevalence of violence against Native women exists, it often focuses on quantitative analysis of women living on rural tribal lands; this is an issue, as 1) most Native people live in cities and 2) looking solely at the numbers ignores the experiences women have beyond those numbers.

This project intends to explore those experiences, using participatory research conducted with Native women living in the Chicago metropolitan area. By utilizing photo- and narrative-based methods, I hope to direct attention to the experience of Native women living in urban areas in ways that highlight resilience instead of deficiency, and to eventually “decolonize” the meaning of gender-based violence.

Alex Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Criminology, Law, and Justice department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with concentrations in Violence Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. Their research specialties include critical criminology, intersections of law and policy on gender-based violence, and state responses to sociopolitical subversion; their teaching specialties include criminological theory, violence in society, and writing for social sciences. They are also the Vice President of UIC’s Native American Student Organization and the co-chair of the student subcommittee of UIC’s Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

For more information please call the D’Arcy McNickle Center Program Coordinator, Patrick Rochford at (312) 255-3552 or email rochfordp@newberry.org