Paperback / softback
May 11, 2022
9.00 Inches (US)
9.00 Inches (US)
0.60 Inches (US)
1.05 Pounds (US)
$24.99 USD, £19.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Indigenous Women and Street Gangs

Survivance Narratives

Amber, Bev, Chantel, Jazmyne, Faith, and Jorgina are six Indigenous women previously involved in street gangs or street lifestyles. In Indigenous Women and Street Gangs they collaborate with Robert Henry (Métis) to share an emancipatory expression of their lives through photovoice. Each author shares a narrative that begins with her earliest memory and continues to the present. This is followed by a selection of photographs the woman took to show how she has changed with her experiences. Readers can expect difficult life stories imbued with hope and humour. Throughout, these women show us the meaning of survivance; a process of survival, resistance, resurgence, and growth.

"Don't ever fucking feel sorry for me. Why do you feel sorry for me? First of all, you shouldn't feel sorry for me; you should be happy for me because I am here. We're fucking human beings.

We have been through shit, made some bad choices and mistakes. But like I said, in the end, if I want the help, I will ask."


"I don't think there is any such thing as bad; it's called healing, you know? It is starting to fix yourself inside your heart, you know? You just got to keep doing it, that's all I got to say."


About the Authors

Robert Henry (Métis, Prince Albert) is Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. His work focuses on survivance within street lifestyles.


"Indigenous Women and Street Gangs explores, in their own words, the women's interactions with various systems—such as the education system, the child welfare system, and policing and the justice system—as well as the impacts of settler-colonialism, racism and intergenerational trauma on their lives. The women describe what ultimately led them to leave the street gangs and street lifestyles." Shannon Boklaschuk, University of Saskatchewan [Full article at]

"The stories of these six women provide a telling tale of how Canada's colonial systems have failed Indigenous women.... Their 'survivance' is a testament to the resilience and strength of Indigenous women. I would highly recommend this book to women's groups, organizations that deal with high-risk groups, ... law enforcement, educators, and social workers." Chevi Rabbit, The Toronto Star, November 24, 2021 [Article at]

"The narratives carry themes of trauma, violence, exclusion, removal through child welfare systems, and how Indigenous women feel they are perceived in street spaces and the community at large. Their stories point to the difficulties they faced with regard to policies, but also the ways they tried to better themselves and resist the ideas of being erased and taken—which gives rise to the word 'survivance.'" Thia James, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, December 2, 2021 [Full article at]

"They wanted individuals to begin to understand and see them as people, not as files or gang members but as individuals who have had to go through some more difficult things than others." Robert Henry interviewed by Derek Craddock for Prince Albert's 101.5 Beach Radio []

"Many non-Indigenous Canadians will not understand what it's like to be an Indigenous woman born into poverty within a country that systematically discriminates against them based on the color of their skin tone, socioeconomic background, cultural identity, or ethnic background... They might never understand the root causes that led some Indigenous populations to live on the streets. That's what this book offers readers, a glimpse into the lived experiences of Indigenous women who were involved in street gangs and how they liberated themselves from the harsh lifestyle." Chevi Rabbit, Alberta Native News, November 2021


"These six women write about the hardships of street and gang life as well their courage, endurance, pride, strength, and love in the face of these difficulties. They show that in settler-colonial societies, trauma and violence work intergenerationally and that healing is not only possible, it is already underway. At its heart, this is a book about hope."—Joanna Kidman, Professor of Māori Education, Victoria University of Wellington

9781772125498 : indigenous-women-and-street-gangs-amber-bev-chantel
Paperback / softback
144 Pages
$24.99 USD

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