A Foucaultian Approach to Menstrual Practices in the Dehcho Region, Northwest Territories, Canada

Audrey R. Giles


In this paper, I explore the benefits of using a Foucaultian approach to examine research questions related to Dene women, menstrual traditions, and physical practices (the term physical practices is here used to encompass the contested terms sport, recreation, traditional games, and physical activity) in the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. While it is clear that Indigenous research frameworks have been marginalized in past research projects, this paper argues that the current approach of using almost exclusively Indigenous frameworks when conducting research with Indigenous communities has several drawbacks and relies on some troubling assumptions. After outlining the strengths of a Foucaultian approach, examples derived from fieldwork in the Dehcho region are used to illustrate the ways in which a Foucaultian approach can be operationalized, while also demonstrating the ways in which such an approach to research can complement Indigenous research frameworks and agendas.

  • Audrey R. Giles, School of Human Kinetics, 125 University St., University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5

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