Aboriginal Women's Relationship to Water - Paper Sample

Published: 2024-01-04
Aboriginal Women's Relationship to Water - Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Culture Water
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1250 words
11 min read


Water is a crucial commodity that ought to be treasured. However, indigenous women in Canada possess an inimitable relationship with water. Researchers have noted that indigenous women share a sacred link to water as attributed to their special roles (Anderson et al., 2013). In the article “Carriers of Water: Aboriginal Women’s Experiences, relationships, and Reflections,” Kim Anderson, Barbara Clow, and Margaret Haworth-Brockman examined the critical role of water in the life of Aboriginal women. While the article effectively demonstrates the powerful spiritual and cultural connection of Aboriginal women to water, some limitations in terms of presentation are also notable in a few instances within the text.

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Critical Review

In their article, Anderson, Clow, and Brockman interviewed eleven grandmothers across Canada on their take on water and its roles. All the Aboriginal women came from different Indigenous communities in Canada, which was recommendable because it explored the diversity and the commonalities of the participants. The demographics of the participants were taken, after which some were chosen on the basis of the relationship they had with the authors as well as their roles in the community. Open-ended and unstructured interviews were conducted asking the women about the significance of water, women’s roles, and impacts due to changes in water quality. The authors then analyzed the entire stories that were presented to them and came up with three main conclusions, namely, water is life, water is sentient, and water can heal.

The researchers discussed an important topic that can be informative in the area of the gendered impact of water management policies. There has been rather limited attention on the differential impacts of water that are beyond economic as well as ecological imperatives; thus, the article covers the existing gap in past studies. The title of the article is also concise, clear, and unambiguous. It highlights the core objective of the article and, additionally, all the terms in the title featured in the keywords provided. The inclusion of the words culture, Canada, and Spirituality in the list of keywords may have also enhanced the article’s proper retrieval. However, the term diversity could have also been included in the list of keywords.

The article is subdivided into six sections, namely abstract, introduction, background, methodology, discussion, and conclusion. Although the sections are majorly logically constructed as per the guidelines of a typical research journal, the presentation of the ideas is somehow mixed up, and some sections are not adequately elaborated. One outstanding error and limitation featured in the article presentation is the lack of the ‘results’ section. The results were mixed up in the methods sections, which can confuse the reader.

The sample size used in the study was only 11, which is also too small to generalize the results for the entire Canada as a nation. Although the authors highlighted that they chose a small sample to keep the project manageable, a bigger sample would be better for reasonable conclusions. The abstract section has offered a clear overview of the study by including all the necessary components of the research including an introduction, research problem in relation to Aboriginal women, sample size, methodology as well as findings. The abstract has magnificently provided a short summary of what the research entailed, how it was conducted, and what the authors discovered.

The phenomenon to be studied in the article was clearly identified in the introduction as the “examination of the meanings of water and the impact of water quality issues among Aboriginal women in Canada” (Anderson et al., 2013). The purpose was executed via qualitative research; thus, ideas were explored without necessarily having predetermined research questions at the outset. Although it was a primary study, it appears that the article had a secondary aim of exploring the social and cultural attributes of Aboriginal women in Canada. Without research questions, the study about the Aboriginal women and their connection with water was presented as a discovery process. Thus, the researchers decided not to constrain themselves with narrow questions but rather be adequately flexible in absorbing and interpreting multiple realities in Aboriginal women’s social and cultural contexts in Canada.

Both the introduction and background information are in-depth and informative and are relevant to the subject of the study. Additionally, the two sections have adequately attempted to review previous studies of water management issues. The authors referenced offer 30 sources that were relevant to the study. Thus, it is apparent that the authors performed a thorough literature search on the subject before they started their study. Within the literature, the authors quote McGregor’s ideology that Aboriginal women in some ceremonies are allowed to speak about water while in other places are seldom allowed. The researchers used more reputable scholars to explain the distinct cultural and spiritual relationship between Aboriginal women and water in a coherent and logical flow. All the references used in the study ranged from 2005 to 2011, thus were not outdated. The use of official databases like that of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANC) guaranteed factual information on the cultural identity of Aboriginal women in Canada.

The literature used was, however, preliminary due to the nature of the study. It was not based on any distinct literature search strategy. The reason attributed to such nature of the literature review includes the fact that it was a qualitative and not a quantitative study. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that the literature review presented in the introduction and background sections fulfilled the aims of the study about Aboriginal women and connection to water. Additionally, the literature review ostensibly meets the philosophical foundations of the study.

Although there was no statistical representation, significant findings were recorded since the study was deeply grounded on theoretical analysis. There was a balanced notion in the study, as the authors highlighted, both in the literature review and discussion sections, that it is easier to recognize the centrality of water in the lives of Aboriginal women. Still, also there is a better appreciation of many potential harms formed by water quality and security issues. The discussion adequately engages the literature and comprehensively discusses the results of the study, which makes the article more coherent.

The conclusions made in the research article are that water justly does have the ability to heal, is sentient, thus can establish relationships with the rest of life forms, and means life. These conclusions accurately reflect the results of the study and also connect to the wider literature. Additionally, the conclusions of the study summarize and also reinforce some vital principles against the exclusion of Aboriginal women from discussions and actions on water quality since it dents their ability to protect and care for the water.


Overall, the article is compelling and informative, since it successfully reveals the powerful spiritual and cultural connection of Aboriginal women to water. The style is also non-judgmental as mostly the authors have described the subject of Aboriginal women’s relationship to water in a logical manner and with a lot of acknowledgment of other people’s work. To be sure, there are some weaknesses in the article like inopportune presentation as well as small sample size. However, the article is persuasive, relevant, and very convincing in theory despite the few presentation errors.


Anderson, K., Clow, B., & Haworth-Brockman, M. (2013). Carriers of water: Aboriginal women’s experiences, relationships, and reflections. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60, 11-17.

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Aboriginal Women's Relationship to Water - Paper Sample. (2024, Jan 04). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/aboriginal-womens-relationship-to-water-paper-sample

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