A mini-slumgullion of links today on the topic of Native American women's rights and domestic violence:
TiyospayeNow: Fire Thunder Impeachment and the Rights of Women -- Jacqueline Keeler connects the recent impeachment of Cecelia Fire Thunder as Oglala Sioux tribal president to the rights of native women to reproductive freedom and safety from violence:
In addition to impeaching the president, the Oglala Tribal council went one step further than the state of South Dakota -- not only making abortion illegal under any circumstances, except life endangerment, but they made seeking an abortion, or helping someone seek an abortion punishable by banishment from the reservation. So, if a young women is a victim of incest or rape and seeks help from another woman to find an abortion clinic, she and her friend would be banished. Meanwhile, the tribal council resists efforts to deal as stringently with the issue of rape, incest and violence against women, so the men who perpetuate rape are not similarly punished.Women's Space: Cecelia Fire Thunder, multiple posts -- Heart, who provided the above link to Keeler's eloquent writing, covers the events that led to Fire Thunder's impeachment. Lots of research and excellent links in her multiple entries.
Indian Country: Halting sexual violence -- A June article shows Fire Thunder's pro-choice efforts extend to addressing tribal problems of sexual violence:
Fire Thunder faces an impeachment hearing on June 29. She plans to fight for her office.NOW: Native American women and violence -- Lisa Bungalia writes about the lack of law enforcement assistance for domestic violence victims in tribal areas:
''The abortion issue,'' she said, ''is the key that opens the padlock to sexual deviancy that is occurring on the Pine Ridge reservation.''
Sexual deviancy is what Fire Thunder calls rape and incest: crimes that are rarely adjudicated on the reservation. The epidemic nature of the abuse is noticed in drug and alcohol treatment programs where, Fire Thunder said, 87 percent of women will disclose that they were sexually abused, many as children. The ultimate end of domestic assault is rape, what Fire Thunder calls the ''ultimate subjugation.''
Most women on the Pine Ridge reservation, she said, know someone who has been raped. And the stories pour out as women across the reservation start to talk: stories about children bearing male relatives' babies.
Rape victims in particular, Fire Thunder said, need to have the option to terminate the resulting pregnancy.
In addition to domestic abuse, Native American women also experience the highest levels of sexual and domestic abuse of any group. A report from the American Indian Women’s Chemical Health Project found that three-fourths of Native American women have experienced some type of sexual assault in their lives. However, most remain silent due to cultural barriers, a high level of mistrust for white dominated agencies, fear of familial alienation, and a history of inactivity by state and tribal agencies to prosecute crimes committed against them.Indian Country: Indian women rally against white Christian influence on tribal abortion ban -- At a rally just before the November elections where Fire Thunder failed to win back her presidency:
Fire Thunder and Cook-Lynn said American Indian voters have been influenced by the ideology of the Christian right, which they noted has no place in the political arena.Domestic violence and tribal protection of indigenous women in the United States -- A lengthy paper written by two women professors at the American Indian Law Certificate program at the University of New Mexico School of Law that includes discussion of the role of Indian feminists in tribal solutions to the problem.
''This is an attack on women's rights that is ongoing; this is a national issue in Indian country.
''If they can tell you you can't have an abortion, they can tell you you must have one,'' Cook-Lynn said, referring to the practice of a few decades ago of sterilizing American Indian women without their permission.
''This is a result of colonization and Christianity; they don't teach reproductive rights,'' she said.
Governmentally coerced sterilization of Native American women -- A history of eugenics and genocide through depriving Indian women of their reproductive rights.
More links and resources for tribal domestic violence.