Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Toward Empowerment – Event

Link to the announcement here


Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Towards Empowerment


Wednesday, March 15, 2017
10:30 a.m.

Salvation Army
221 E 52nd St.
(Downstairs Room)
New York, NY 10022

Join us to recognize, strengthen, and honor the global movement to end violence against indigenous women.

Indigenous women around the world experience disproportionate levels of violence and murder and multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination because they are indigenous and because they are women. Too often, national justice systems fail to respond to this violence, leaving women without protection or meaningful access to justice. In this event, indigenous women leaders will speak to the situation of violence against indigenous women in the United States and Guatemala.

• Learn about barriers to safety facing American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States, and their successes in restoring indigenous sovereignty to address violence against women.

• Learn about the grassroots movement to stop the trafficking of indigenous women in the United States.

• Learn about the spectrum of violence facing Mayan women in Guatemala and their strategies of resistance.

Panelists will also discuss strategies for urging states to advance the rights of indigenous peoples and women affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For more information, email Jana L. Walker, at jwalker@indianlaw.org.

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Manidoowaadiziwag Ikwewag – Women Are Sacred, Video Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence and Practices for Dealing with DV in Native Communities and Victims with Disabilities

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

This documentary film was developed to be an educational and training tool based on the work produced by the Minnesota Accessing Paths to Safety Project.

The film chronicles the the first-hand stories of American Indian woman survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse with disabilities from the White Earth Nation. Learn about their history and tradition, the impact of historical trauma and intergenerational grief, and the resources available for survivors on and around the reservation.

Link to the video here.

Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition to Release Report Today — UPDATE

Here is the report.

Here is the full press release (PDF). An excerpt:

Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
and Prostitution Research & Education
Release Landmark Report on Native Women in Minnesota
Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota – The Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition and Prostitution Research & Education have released the landmark report, Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota, the first study to detail the personal experiences of Native women who have been prostituted and trafficked in the state, as well as the specific resources and support they need to escape prostitution and trafficking. The report follows on earlier studies by Amnesty International and the US Justice Department which found that Native women experience the highest rates of sexual assault in the US.

Garden of Truth is based on interviews with more than 105 Native women in the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Bemidji, and finds a common thread of poverty and extreme and frequent violence throughout these women’s lifetimes, including child sexual abuse, rape, and beatings and traumatic brain injuries obtained during prostitution. A majority of the women experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. 98% have been homeless at some point during their lives, and 92% say they want to escape prostitution but believe they have no other options. About half of the women interviewed met a conservative legal definition of sex trafficking, which involves third-party control by pimps or traffickers.

“Native women are at exceptionally high risk for poverty and sexual violence, which are both elements in the trafficking of women,” says report co-author Nicole Matthews, Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition. “The specific needs of Native women are not being met. Our goal was to assess the life circumstances of Native women in prostitution in Minnesota, a group of women not previously studied in research such as this.”

Garden of Truth calls prostitution a sexually exploitive, often violent economic option most often entered into by those with a lengthy history of sexual, racial, or economic victimization. “Prostitution is only now beginning to be understood as violence against women and children,” says report co-author Melissa Farley, founder of Prostitution Research & Education. “It has rarely been included in discussions of sexual violence against Native women. It is crucial to understand the sexual exploitation of Native women in prostitution today in its historical context of colonial violence against Native nations.”