My dissertation introduced a Native feminist reading methodology as a transhistorical methodology that resists disappearance and affirms presence. It is a methodology that sees ghosts and answers them. I read historical texts, paintings and quilts, family photographs and films. It is a methodology that involves reading against disappearance; it involves reading futures yet in store for Native lives. I draw upon the work of many Native feminist scholars including, Lee Maracle (1988), Ines Hernández-Avila (2005), Jennifer Denetdale (2007), Eve Tuck (2009), Michelle Raheja (2010), Chris Finley (2011), Dian Million (2013), Michelle Jacob (2013), Mishuana Goeman (2013), Leanne Simpson (2013), Audra Simpson (2014), Maile Arvin (2015), and so many others, because I understand their writing as practices of reading survivance. I also draw on my ancestors, their lives, their stories and their refusals. Extending arguments of recognition, this methodology is an act of recognition. That these readings are practiced by Indigenous feminists is not meant to make reading a kind of essential magical ability of Indian women, but rather I take the standpoint that the reading practice is something done to bear futures into existence, just as similar practices were done by our predecessors. It is this shared ontological project of bearing the future out of a genocidal present that connects Native feminists now and Native women then; in this respect it is a survivance practice that recognizes itself within a tradition of survivance. In short, a Native feminist reading methodology is reading as self-recognition.
Throughout the chapters I used examples of Native feminist methodologies, including Audra Simpson’s ethnographic refusal and Eve Tuck’s desire-based research, Michelle Raheja’s visual sovereignty and Leanne Simpson and Maile Arvin’s regeneration as a response to being possessed by whiteness. Throughout I use haunting as a methodology adapted from sociologist Avery Gordon’s work and drawing upon Tuck and C. Ree’s theorizing. What is gained from Native feminist methodologies is the work of trusting our knowledge, and bringing that knowledge through primarily Western institutions to one another as a form of recognition. My dissertation is an intervention and participation in that ongoing decolonizing project.