Tag Archives: Indian Blood

December 1 is World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS Day. This excerpt of Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community, by Andrew J. Jolivette, looks closely at the ways in which the Two-Spirit community has been impacted by HIV/AIDS and offers a path toward a better understanding of and by the Indigenous world.

Burning sage fills the room at the Native American AIDS Project in San Francisco with pungent smoke. It’s a cold winter day when I begin my first focus group with gay, Two-Spirit, and transgender American Indians who also identify as mixed-race. As each participant enters the room, I introduce myself and explain that the goal of this project is to understand how we can reduce rates of HIV/AIDS infection in American Indian and Indigenous communities. I also suggest that this is a story about healing, not about sickness. This is, I tell them, a story that will produce meaningful interventions for other American Indian people in San Francisco and across the United States.

As prayers are offered for the office space to become ceremonial and safe, I can see the members of the group begin to stand closer together. One participant, an older man in his fifties, speaks first. His tone, as he tells of his transition from the reservation in Nevada to urban life in San Francisco, is one of authority. He describes unbelievable trauma and yet there is hope in his message. He recalls a time when San Francisco was a beacon for gay, Two-Spirit, and transgender Natives, but explains that there has since been a decline in leadership within the community. Other participants are nodding in agreement. A transgender participant in her early forties suggests that the only way a community can heal is if it remains a community. I hear the relevance of this insight to HIV prevention efforts: focusing on behavioral change at the individual level causes a greater degree of stigmatization and isolation, which in turn increase harmful behaviors and lead to higher HIV transmission risk. Continue reading

Q&A with ‘Indian Blood’ author Andrew J. Jolivette

In his new book Indian Blood: HIV & Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community, Andrew J. Jolivette examines the correlation between mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among Native American gay men and transgendered people, and provides an analysis of the emerging and often contested LGBTQ “two-spirit” identification as it relates to public health and mixed-race identity.

Prior to contact with European settlers, most Native American tribes held their two-spirit members in high esteem, even considering them spiritually advanced. However, after contact—and religious conversion—attitudes changed and social and cultural support networks were ruptured. This discrimination led to a breakdown in traditional values, beliefs, and practices, which in turn pushed many two-spirit members to participate in high-risk behaviors. The result is a disproportionate number of two-spirit members who currently test positive for HIV.

Using surveys, focus groups, and community discussions to examine the experiences of HIV-positive members of San Francisco’s two-spirit community, Indian Blood provides an innovative approach to understanding how colonization continues to affect American Indian communities and opens a series of crucial dialogues in the fields of Native American studies, public health, queer studies, and critical mixed-race studies.

We spoke with Jolivette about his book, published this spring.

What inspired you to get into your field?

Andrew J. Jolivette: American Indian studies is in my blood. I felt I had a commitment and a responsibility to give back to my community and I also felt that it was important that more Native perspectives be centered and not just represented or driven by outsiders.

What is the biggest misunderstanding people have about Native American studies and what you do?

AJJ: I think the biggest misunderstanding about the field of Native American studies is that it limits students from working in any field or area that they want and I would also have to say the general sentiment that Native peoples don’t exist in great numbers. What about the millions of people we call Latino or African American or European American—many of them are also Native and this book is also about recognizing how Indigenous peoples of mixed descent are missed in areas like public health because of invisibility and colonial trauma.

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Native American and Indigenous Studies Association 2016 conference preview

Later this week, we head to the 2016 annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The meeting runs from Wednesday, May 18, to Saturday, May 21, and we can’t wait to take part in this new round of scholarly conversations and to debut new offerings in Indigenous studies with scholars, activists, artists, and all attendees!

University of Washington Press director Nicole Mitchell and exhibits, advertising, and direct mail manager Katherine Tacke will represent the press in the exhibit hall, so come say hello at booth 201! Use the hashtag #NAISA2016 to follow along with the meeting on social media, and use promo code WST1614 for 30% off books and free shipping.

If you’ll be attending the meeting in Honolulu, we hope you will stop by to check out our new and forthcoming titles, including new books in the Indigenous Confluences series, as well as to learn more about the new collaborative Mellon-funded Indigenous studies digital publishing platform initiative spearheaded by UBC Press (flyer below).

New and forthcoming from our Indigenous Confluences series:

Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community
By Andrew J. Jolivette

Meet the author at NAISA on Wednesday, May 18!

“This excellent book helps to fill a huge gap in the Native studies literature about mixed-identity gay men and their struggles with multiple oppressions.”—Renya Ramirez, author of Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond

Indian Blood makes a significant contribution to the field as the first major work on Native Americans, HIV/AIDS, mixed-race identity, gender and sexuality, and the urban environment. The scholarship is superior.”—Irene Vernon, author of Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS Continue reading

May 2016 News, Reviews, and Events

News

GiveBIG-book-heartOn this #GiveBIG Day, thanks for giving big today and every day! This year your support helped us publish some of the region’s most talented nonfiction writers, offer fellowships in scholarly publishing, and ensure a future for smart, accessible books. Thank you for being part of the University of Washington Press community!

We are also thrilled to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of British Columbia a three-year $509,000 grant to support a new collaborative digital publishing platform for multimedia books in Indigenous studies between UBC Press and the University of Washington Press. Read more at Library Journal‘s InfoDocket and the full announcement on our blog, or contact Beth Fuget at bfuget [at] uw.edu.

Congratulations to senior designer Tom Eykemans, winner of the 2016 Standing Ovation Award from UW’s Professional Staff Organization. Winners and nominees will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 4, from noon till 1:30 p.m. in the Lake Washington Room of the UW Club.

Jerry Franklin displays his Pinchot Medallion award. Photo via University of Washington / UW Today.

Congratulations to UW forest ecologist and The Olympic Rain Forest co-author Jerry Franklin, who was recently awarded the Pinchot Medallion by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation (via UW Today).

Last, our Fall 2016 catalog is hot off the presses—we hope you’ll be as excited about what we’re publishing over the next months as we are!

Reviews and Interviews

The Utne Reader publishes an excerpt from Ana Maria Spagna‘s Reclaimers.
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