With the onset of the Great War in 1914, Six Nations men and women responded with gendered patriotism, in ways that were both similar to Anglo-Canadians, and in ways that were similar to traditional Iroquois responses to war; men fought and women provided support on the home-front. Women’s patriotic work at home led to increased activity in the post-war period on the reserve. Six Nations women made use of social reform organizations and voluntary associations to make improvements in their community, particularly after the War. The Women’s Institutes were especially popular because they were malleable, practical, and useful for rural women’s needs. Women exerted power through these organizations, and effected positive change on the reserve.
Dr. Alison Norman is primarily focused on Indigenous Studies and she recently completed a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Her project is a history of Aboriginal teachers in southern Ontario in the 19th century.