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The term resilience is often used with reference to Indigenous women and Indigenous youth. Native girls are included in each of these categories but are rarely the main focus of a campaign. Their triple vulnerability (gender, indigeneity, and age), however, means that the focus on resilience is often greatest when applied to them. This Article centers them. It traces the development of resilience in the (non-Native) ecological and psychological literature. Although resilience is used across many different disciplines, it is especially prominent in ecological literature about resilient institutions, such as communities and cities, and in psychological literature about resilient individuals. This Article then examines the way resilience has been applied to Native girls, particularly in the context of juvenile justice, and cautions against potentially damaging implications of what is almost uniformly imagined to be a positive and complimentary label.

Part I briefly considers whether the concept of institutional resilience provides an accurate framework for addressing tribal survival. It then compares and contrasts the institutional concept with the individual concept. However, the ultimate focus of this Article, discussed in Parts II and III, is how resilience is applied to individual Native girls. Other articles in this volume address the way institutional resilience might be reframed from a Native perspective; Part IV of this Article, which addresses potential reframing, focuses only on individual resilience.

Publication Citation

2018 BYU L. Rev. 1407 (2018).