Month: November, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
About 50 people came together in Rapid City on October 6, 7, and 8, 2016 to improve their advocacy skills.
We were honored to have Tanaya Winder and the Sing Our Rivers Red earring display with us on the first day of the conference. Learn more about the Sing Our Rivers Red project, which focuses on missing and murdered Indigenous women, here.
Next up was storytelling.
Amanda War Bonnett presented on internet safety for survivors and advocates.
On Friday Arlanna Bettelyoun and Norma Rendon presented on interactive interviewing. We then adjourned to the Civic Center to hear Bonnie Clairmont speak on sex trafficking, which was sponsored by Wiconi Wawokiya, Inc., The Native Women's Society of the Great Plains as well as the SDCEDSV.
On Saturday we enjoyed a Domestic Violence Awareness walk.
Marlin Mousseau spoke on forming men's groups.
The conference closed with the HeSapa Wacipi grand entrance, with the Silent Witnesses, at the Civic Center in Rapid City.
Categories: Current News
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
RAPE PLUNDER AND PILLAGE!
This term follows the 1400’s onslaught of murder, rape and dehumanization of the Indigenous women and People of the “Americas”. Times have not changed since the 1600’s here in the Tetons or among any other Nation of Indigenous relatives anywhere on the soil of America. America was supposedly built upon the concept of freedom for all, erroneously, to be free from religious persecution, free of government repression and oppression experienced in their homelands. This was attained for the People from other countries after the murder and dehumanization of millions of the indigenous Nations with many of the Tribes being totally obliterated.
The rape of our land is not the only rape occurring. There are many sex traffickers of young women, men and even elders accompanying this trafficking atrocity inflicted upon the Indigenous Communities of this land. The oil moguls and the government that allows them to destroy our Nation for the sake of greed are the true transgressors of society. There is no stronger form of repression as the white privilege given by society to many. Throughout history Europeans have dehumanized the Indigenous women in efforts to make slaves out of them, through sex, exploitation, and cheap or no pay at all for services rendered. These oil field workers exploit their white male privilege with such severity that they don’t even care if they are being video-taped in their acts of sexual exploitation and solicitation.
Attached is a video of a white male oil worker in Iowa soliciting the daughter of Marisa Miakonda Cummings. The perpetrator slowly travels along a long line of women protesting the pipeline that will eventually make it through their State of Iowa if it can’t be stopped at the North Dakota access. The women at the beginning of the line were not women of color, and as he drove toward the end of the line he saw these two beautiful Indigenous Women. He then spews out the degrading and dehumanizing question, “How much for that little girl?” Fully knowledgeable of the fact that he was being taped was of no consequence to him because he possesses white male privilege and his employment (empowerment) rights given as a part of the industry that leads the Nation of Corporate America. He knows nothing will happen to him. The mother of the victim was immediately disheartened and could not believe what she heard, had this not been taped she would not be able to believe that any human being could act out in such an atrocious manner. Her daughter is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Health Administration. The mother knew her daughter had been targeted because they were the only women of color in the walk.
The culmination of the event is even more disturbing, as the women contacted law enforcement to press charges, they are declined to file a complaint. The responding official refused to take a statement because he had contacted the Prosecutor and was told they would refuse to prosecute even though they had such substantiated evidence of solicitation of a woman. This is clear testimony of the blatant travesty of justice in America.
Our Native women and children have been under attack since the colonization of America. During the Indian Wars the slogan of all military men was, “kill and scalp all, big and little” and “nits make lice”. The dehumanization of people in times of war is predominant and according to the US government the war against the indigenous people of this land is a continued declaration, specifically toward our women and children. This is evident in the high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Boarding School era when the United States government “knew” they had the right to take children away from their parents at the age of 3 and 4 to be raised in a concentration camp with a number attached to them, not a name. In 1886 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs writes: “It is admitted b most people that the adult savage is not susceptible to the influence of “civilization” and we must therefore turn his children, that they might be taught to abandon the pathway of barbarism and walk with a sure step along the pleasant highway to Christian civilization… They must be withdrawn, in tender years, entirely from camp and taught to eat, to sleep, to dress, to play to work, to think, after the manner of the white man.”
So some may be thinking to themselves that was so long ago. All the way up to 1977 they were sterilizing Native women without their consent or knowledge in efforts to wipe out the undesirables. There are women my age and younger that do not have children due to this sterilization process. When you look at the rates of sexual assault, sex trafficking and domestic violence of the Indigenous Women of this country they are far higher than any other nationality of women in the US. There is a war against women of color in this country.
The Standing Rock area is a multi-component site, there is layer after layer of events that have happened on this site, some were powerfully inspirational, spiritual and fulfilling but most were hideously detrimental and destructive. When I think about the history of the Nation as I stand on the occupied ground I can envision and hear our ancestors that suffered the same pillage as we do today. What has changed, “progress”, freedom”, NO! Since the inception of “America” we have a history of violence and persecution, specifically to the Indigenous People and to our Mother, Earth.
Equality is something that many white Americans fear. Equality means the loss of white privilege. Equality means the loss of the ability to oppress and dehumanize those who are different. Equality takes away the ability to believe white Americans are superior physically, mentally and spriritually. Equality ends the acceptability of sexual abuse of women, particularly women of color in this country. Equality ends the entitlement that some men feel towards women’s bodies.
As the black snake slithers across four states and just over 200 waterways it is guaranteed that there will be spills, explosions, pollutants and inevitably poison the water and land devastating 17,000,000 Americans that depend on the Missouri River and other waterways for clean water.
View this video for the story of the woman who was harassed in Iowa.