American Indians

American Indian women are creating ways to address the gender-role conflict resulting, in large part, from the imposition of a restrictive, rigid system of gender relations introduced by the Europeans. One such strategy is "retradi-tionalization—or the extension of traditional care-taking and cultural transmission roles to include activities vital to the continuity of Indian communities" (LaFromboise et al., 1990, p. 469). Retraditionalization is an effort by Indian women to combine traditional role requirements with contemporary ones in a way that honors past cultural values. Thus, while they pursue professional goals and fill positions of leadership within their tribes, they are also involved in preserving their culture. Ultimately, retraditionalization may promote the kind of egalitarian system of gender roles that Indian peoples had in place before European conquest.

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