Keeping the Campfires Going


Keeping the Campfires Going

Native Women's Activism in Urban Communities

Edited by Susan Applegate Krouse and Heather A. Howard

232 pages


October 2009


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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October 2009


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The essays in this groundbreaking anthology, Keeping the Campfires Going, highlight the accomplishments of and challenges confronting Native women activists in American and Canadian cities. Since World War II, Indigenous women from many communities have stepped forward through organizations, in their families, or by themselves to take action on behalf of the growing number of Native people living in urban areas. This collection recounts and assesses the struggles, successes, and legacies of several of these women in cities across North America, from San Francisco to Toronto, Vancouver to Chicago, and Seattle to Milwaukee. These wide-ranging and insightful essays illuminate Native communities in cities as well as the women activists working to build them.

Author Bio

Susan Applegate Krouse (1955–2010) was an associate professor of anthropology and the director of the American Indian studies program at Michigan State University. She is the author of North American Indians in the Great War (Nebraska 2007).
Heather A. Howard holds a research faculty appointment with the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives at the University of Toronto and is an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Michigan State University. She is the coeditor of The Meeting Place: Aboriginal Life in Toronto and Feminist Fields: Ethnographic Insights.
Contributors: Grant Arndt, Dara Culhane, Heather A. Howard, Nancy Janovicek, Susan Applegate Krouse, Molly Lee, Susan Lobo, Joan Weibel-Orlando, Anne Terry Straus, Debra Valentino, and Mary C. Wright.


"In addition to being a highly valuable stepping-stone for further developments in scholarship on native women’s urban activism, Keeping the Campfires Going also constitutes an important addition to the literature on indigenous issues in general." — Aurélie A. Roy, Ethnohistory

Table of Contents



Susan Applegate Krouse and Heather A. Howard

1. Urban Clan Mothers: Key Households in Cities

Susan Lobo

2. Gender and Community Organization Leadership in the Chicago Indian Community    

Anne Terry Straus and Debra Valentino

3. Indigenous Agendas and Activist Genders: Chicago’s American Indian Center, Social Welfare, and Native American Women’s Urban Leadership   

Grant Arndt

4. “Assisting Our Own”: Urban Migration, Self-Governance, and Native Women’s Organizing in Thunder Bay, Ontario, 1972<EN>1989 

Nancy Janovicek

5. Their Spirits Live within Us: Aboriginal Women in Downtown Eastside Vancouver Emerging into Visibility  

Dara Culhane

6. “How Will I Sew My Baskets?”: Women Vendors, Market Art, and Incipient Political Activism in Anchorage, Alaska   

Molly Lee

7. Women’s Class Strategies as Activism in Native Community Building in Toronto, 1950<EN>1975     

Heather A. Howard

8. Creating Change, Reclaiming Space in Post<EN>World War II Seattle: The American Indian Women’s Service League and the Seattle Indian Center, 1958<EN>1978     

Mary C. Wright

9. What Came Out of the Takeovers: Women’s Activism and the Indian Community School of Milwaukee  

Susan Applegate Krouse

10. Telling Paula Starr: Native American Woman as Urban Indian Icon    

Joan Weibel-Orlando




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