Drawing from Native feminist theories and sovereignty studies, this essay examines the 1983 and 1985 amendments and the activism that led to their development and passage as an instance of the co-constitutive relationship of gender and sovereignty. By looking at how the discourse of rights was mobilized from very different contexts to very different ends by various constituencies of Indian men, women, and their allies, this essay modestly opens the conflicts surrounding gender politics and women’s rights in Native sovereignty movements. I hope to provide a forum for thinking about the kinds of social reformations that are needed to bring about social equity between and for men and women in Indian communities—an equity that is an essential aspect of decolonization and social justice for Native peoples in North America.

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