Telling Stories About Male Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada

color photo of Cherry Smiley
Cherry Smiley, Nlaka'pamux and Diné Nations, PhD Candidate, Communication Studies, Concordia University
Event Date: 
February 20, 2019
Event Time: 
4:00pm to 5:30pm
2239 Lane Hall
Event Accessibility : 
Ramp and elevator access at the E. Washington Street entrance (by loading dock). Accessible restrooms and a gender neutral restroom are available on the south end of Lane Hall, 1st floor.
color photo of Cherry Smiley

Grounded in feminist and Indigenous ways of knowing and focusing on film and images, this presentation will examine historical and contemporary representations of Indigenous women and girls, the intersections between these representations and sexualized male violence, and suggest ways in which researchers can address these issues in their own work.


Cherry Smiley’s research, activism, and artwork overlap and intersect, and her work is grounded in Indigenous feminist theory, storytelling, and creative practice. Cherry has worked as a frontline anti-violence worker in a rape crisis centre and transition house for battered women and their children. She has assisted in the coordination of an anti-violence group for young Indigenous women, and she has worked as a project manager in the area of violence prevention and safety for a national Native women’s organization. She is a founding member of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry (IWASI) and is honoured to have been invited to speak at conferences, events, and rallies in locations such as Prince Rupert, Toronto, New York City, London (England), and Tromsø (Norway). She has won numerous awards for her work toward women's liberation, including the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Person's Case (youth) in 2013 and the 2014 Simon Fraser University Ted and Nora Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy.

In 2014, Cherry graduated with a master of fine arts degree from Simon Fraser University, exhibiting her photo-text installation, RevolutionSongs: Stories of Prostitution. She has also exhibited artwork in locations such as Vancouver BC, Kamloops BC, and London England. She is currently in the communications PhD program at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec, Canada, where her research focuses on ending sexualized male violence against Indigenous women and girls.

COSPONSORS: Communication Studies, Women’s Studies, Stamps School of Art & Design, History of Art, Anthropology, American Culture, and Native American Studies