At the world’s largest gathering of Indigenous leaders, women are talking about how to hold financial institutions accountable for fueling climate catastrophe through investments in the extractive industry. Michelle Cook, Navajo, was among those who offered powerful testimonies focused on the women at the frontlines of extractive projects, the boardrooms of financial institutions, and the halls of governments. Speaking at a side event hosted by Women's Earth and Climate Action Network at the 21st session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, Cook described the work as being part of a sacred obligation. “That’s what we’re doing, fulfilling a prayer for the world – for nature – with love, compassion, and with courage.
Window Rock, AZ - Honoring and remembering missing and murdered Indigenous persons on the Navajo Nation, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a proclamation recognizing May 5, 2021, as "Navajo Nation Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day.” The leaders were joined by their respective wives, First Lady Phefelia Nez, and Second Lady Dottie Lizer, at the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, Ariz. Also in attendance were the 24th Navajo Nation Council’s Sexual Assault Prevention Subcommittee Chair Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Miss Navajo Nation Shaandiin Parrish, and the Albuquerque Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Field Office.
Dispatches from Resistant Mexico is a series of short documentaries from southern Mexico, each depicting one of the thousands of pockets of resistance throughout Latin America that are in struggle against what the Zapatistas call “the capitalist hydra.” These individuals and communities affirm a way life in opposition to capitalist economics and values. They fight the devastating neoliberal “development” and “mega-projects” that loot resources and land from indigenous communities and threaten forms of life that have survived despite 500 years of colonization. The resistance shares many of the principles and goals of the Zapatistas: autonomy from the capitalist economy, communalist self-government rooted in indigenous collective traditions, an end to the subordination of women and a respectful, life-affirming, non-dominating relation to nature.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Braving brutal temperatures and high humidity, Native women rallied at the U.S. Capitol last week to honor survivors of violence and to push for renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.The 2013 version of VAWA included landmark provisions that recognize the inherent sovereignty of tribes to arrest, prosecute and sentence non-Indians who abuse their partners. The law was written to address high rates of victimization of Native women, accounting for statistics which show that most offenders are of another race.
The hullabaloo over the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) inquiry's use of the word genocide has obscured its broader message, and that is more than a pity. It is a tragedy. The inquiry's report builds a powerful case about the systemic causes for the frighteningly large number of cases of Indigenous women and girls who have been victims of violence, abuse and, too often, murder. The report focuses, as one might expect, on the justice system, especially on the police.
OTTAWA, June 3 (Reuters) - The deaths in Canada of more than a thousand aboriginal women and girls in recent decades was a national genocide, a government inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women concluded in a report on Monday. The 1,200-page report, which resulted from an inquiry launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in 2016, blamed the violence on long-standing discrimination against indigenous people and Canada’s failure to protect them. It also made sweeping recommendations to prevent future violence against indigenous women.
If you thought that Indigenous women won equal rights to Indigenous men under the Indian Act in 1985 when Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force, you'd be wrong. You might be aware of the Mohawk activist Mary Two-Axe Early who, in 1967, founded Indian Rights for Indian Women and worked with the National Action Committee on the Status of Women in support of ending discrimination under the Indian Act. Or perhaps you remember Jeannette Corbiere Lavell and Yvonne Bedard, two Indigenous women whose Bill of Rights discrimination claim over the Indian Act was rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada in a split vote in 1979.
A sea of red-clad Native march participants and allies carried signs during the march from the Native American Achievement Center at Montana State University Billings to downtown at the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn, with pictures and names of sisters, best friends, moms, daughters, cousins, and loved ones. During the march, they chanted slogans such as, “Silent no more!” and “No more stolen sisters!” while giving continuous war cries to honor and remember Indigenous women and girls that have been lost.
On a steel-gray winter day, the red dresses each hung, flapping in the wind along the plaza surrounding the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian—35 of them—in different shapes, sizes and shades. They serve as stand-ins for the potentially thousands of native women who go missing or are murdered each year. There is no definitive tally due to the tangled nature of jurisprudence in and around Indian Country. Law enforcement and sometimes the general public are indifferent. And resources to more fully document the fates of these women is lacking.
Minneapolis, MN – State legislators continue to push the creation of a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) task force in Minnesota. The House Bill HF 70 was approved by the Committee of Government Operations and is slated to go to the house floor as early as next week. The Minnesota Senate has yet to see the bill.
According to a new report from the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), more than 500 indigenous women and girls have gone missing or have been murdered across 71 American cities with almost no media coverage. The majority of the urban indigenous females ended up as murder victims. On Wednesday, the UIHI released a report identifying 506 cases of missing or murdered indigenous women and girls that went mostly unreported by the media. The report noted that 280 were murder cases, one hundred and twenty-eight were missing persons cases, and 98 had an unknown status.
Abigail Echo-Hawk came across an unpublished study in 2016, shortly after becoming director of the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI). It showed that, of American Indian and Alaska Native women living in Seattle surveyed in 2010, 94 percent reported they had been raped or coerced into sex. More than half were without permanent housing at the time. Some within UIHI were concerned about how the public would receive the data, but Echo-Hawk pushed for a report. It was released in August. Why were some people worried about releasing this data? In the media—whether it be print, TV, movies—Native people are often portrayed as victims, as vanishing. And so there was some hesitancy that this kind of information would just add to that.
“Hand-drawn maps have great potential to reflect our ways of knowing,” said Lucchesi in an interview with Rewire.News. A recent example of this is a map Lucchesi created in preparation for the 2018 Women’s Marches. The map (shared below) features an image of a ribbon skirt, often worn as sign of respect and honor among Native women, with names of missing and murdered indigenous women incorporated into the design of skirt. Using mainstream technology, Lucchesi seeks to infuse the work of the Atlas of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the United States and Canada with Native ways of thinking or epistemologies that are guided by community needs. “Every element of the atlas is voluntary. My hope is that it will be a model to honor people dealing with these issues, by offering skills with which they can build the work themselves,” said Lucchesi. She added that “reducing peoples very real experience of violence into data points alone felt gross.”
Although proponents of the act are disappointed in the DOJ’s limited support of it, they remain hopeful about the future and the potential for such legislation to help Native women. “The Tribal Law and Order Act [TLOA] feels like window dressing,” said Sarah Deer of the Muscogee Creek Nation, who worked on the legislation President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010 and was also instrumental in the reauthorization of the 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). “It’s very disappointing, many of us worked so hard on the legislation.” The language of TLOA, with its specific promises to combat sexual and domestic violence against Native women, held great hope for Indian Country, a community in which one out of every three Native women reports being raped in her lifetime. Overall, Native people are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to other races.
It was the first time ever that indigenous Amazonian women from seven nationalities, including the Kichwa, Sápara, Shiwiar, Shuar, Achuar, Andoa, and Waorani, joined forces and marched together in defense of their rights, rainforests and future generations. They came from remote rainforest communities, local towns and provinces by foot, canoe, bus and plane to denounce a newly signed oil contract between the Ecuadorian government and Chinese oil corporation Andes Petroleum for blocks 79 and 83, which includes parts of the indigenous territories of the Sápara, Shiwiar and the Kichwa of Sarayaku, Pacayaku, Teresamama along the Bobonaza and Curaray River Basins. Contrary to Ecuadorian and international laws, they were not consulted and did not give their consent for any oil operations on their territories and have vowed to defend their rainforest homes and cultures.