In Reproduction on the Reservation, Brianna Theobald orients the history of reproductive justice around Native American women and the history of Native sovereignty around reproduction. In her analysis of the twentieth-century policies that shaped Native women's reproductive health, Theobald emphasizes Native women's stories. This is a conscious—and political—choice, reflecting Theobald's rejection of common narratives where sterilization abuse appears as the defining feature in the history of Native women's lives. Instead, Theobald illustrates a longer and more nuanced history of reproduction, pregnancy, and birthing practices throughout the twentieth century. This history is inextricably intertwined with the history of Native kinship, women's power within their communities, and cultural knowledge.

Theobald balances her study between “depth” and “breadth,” alternating chapters between specific analyses of her case study of the Crow Reservation in southern Montana and a wider, national story of policy and activism. Her sources include oral histories of Crow and Northern...

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