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Reproduction on the ReservationPregnancy, Childbirth, and Colonialism in the Long Twentieth Century$
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Brianna Theobald

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653167

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653167.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Nurse, Mother, Midwife

Nurse, Mother, Midwife

(p.71) Chapter Three Nurse, Mother, Midwife
Reproduction on the Reservation

Brianna Theobald

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores Native women’s childbearing experiences during the 1930s through the life story of a single woman: Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail. Yellowtail, born on the Crow Reservation, became one of the first Native American registered nurses and worked briefly at the government hospital on her reservation. Through her experiences as an employee and a patient, Yellowtail became aware of inadequate obstetrics practices at the hospital. Specifically, she alleged that she and other Crow women underwent involuntary sterilization procedures within hospital walls. The chapter places Yellowtail’s experiences within the context of the contemporary eugenics movement. It also documents Yellowtail’s multifaceted response to these injustices, which included a decades-long midwifery practice.

Keywords:   Eugenics, Involuntary sterilization, Obstetrics, Crow Reservation

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