Presquito Murdoch Indigenous Law Award

We are providing this Award in memory of our grandmothers, Leoncia Valenzuela de Presquito and Catherine Mary Murdoch. When we think of them, we are reminded of a statement by Alice Munro in a CBC interview: “My mother suffered a terrible mental illness. It has a name; it is called patriarchy.” We also consider the warning of K. W. Crenshaw that: “patriarchy has long been a weapon of racism and cannot sit comfortably in any politic of racial transformation.” We are inspired by the achievements of our grandmothers who fought for themselves and their children in a time when women in their cultural and political milieus had very little freedom of choice or opportunity in any aspect of their lives. 

Leoncia taught herself how to read and write by peering between the wooden slats of a neighborhood school where only privileged boys were permitted to attend. Catherine was pressured into marrying an unwanted suitor ecause, in her father’s words, “no one else will want to marry you because of your deafness.” We provide this Award to help maintain a pathway for those Indigenous students who will further unlock the future for their descendants and continue to oppose oppression in all its forms.

–Dr. Athena Madan and Drew Mildon. 

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