The Great White Mother: Maternalism and Settler Colonialism in the American West and Australia, 1880–1940

Through a discourse and a practice of maternalism, white settler women such as Alice Cunningham Fletcher gained a powerful new authority in society, but often at the expense of the women they deemed to be their metaphorical daughters.

Lecture Description

In the late nineteenth century, the U.S. government and Australian state administrations adopted a new strategy for managing their Indigenous populations: removing Indigenous children and sending them to schools and other institutions. White women became key figures in carrying out these policies. Officials touted their efforts as a compassionate departure from the violence of the past, but they often used brute force to remove children, and their policies still served the settler colonial aim of eliminating Indigenous people.

CATEGORIES

American Indian Women

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