My mind keeps going back to the rage-inducing fact that 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped here in the US, specifically because US Laws made it impossible for them to prosecute their rapists. I had written about this before, if anyone wants some more detailed information.
In summary it’s because: The Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 prevented Native American women from being allowed to sue their rapists and any murder of Indigenous people was limited to a $5000 fine or one-year’s imprisonment as the punishable crime, the Supreme Court case of Oliphant vs Suquamish stated Native American tribal police had no right to prosecute non-Natives coming into their territory, Public Law 280 (1953) made it so that State governments could essentially suspend whatever laws Native American tribal police did use to prosecute crimes, and while Obama signing the Violence Against Women’s Act of 2013 helped amend some of this; the problem remains that most State governments don’t really care to prosecute or don’t have the ability to prosecute while shutting down Tribal governments from exerting any sort of legal preventative measures for crimes like rape, Tribal governments are outright barred from prosecuting the crimes completely, and often the Federal government chooses not to prosecute whenever Native American women are targeted, raped, murdered, or “disappear” and Amnesty International found back in 2007 that the perpetrators are usually non-Native men in 86% of the cases, but the US Public — usually those who seem keen on ignoring the fact the majority of these non-Native perpetrators are registered sex offenders with a propensity for violence — argue it’s all because Native Americans “don’t want Federal police and Federal government to help;” when the issue has been categorically the opposite.
And this completely bothers me to this day, I feel totally helpless with this knowledge, and I don’t think writing another detailed blog post about what they go through will do much like what I tried back in 2015. Why was Oliphant vs Suquamish not such an infamous case in the US to cause people to question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court of the US like the more recent striking down of Roe vs Wade? Why can’t we, as a country, just give Native American people equal rights in their own homeland? Why are they never allowed to sue institutions that commit willful genocide upon them?
It’s like, holy shit, the US public and especially the US government does not fucking care at all. This is institutional genocide. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s what it is.
So, I decided that I’d donate $250 to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. Specifically, to their Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s support department. It may not mean much, but maybe if it can help to alleviate violence against Indigenous communities, then hopefully it has done some meager measure of good. I had previously donated $500 to a local group assisting Ukraine refugees last year. I plan to donate more to causes that try to preemptively stop the rising cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. If you’re interested in contributing at all, please think about it or other Indigenous non-profits that try to stymie the trend of violence against Native American women and Native American people in general:
https://www.niwrc.org/tribal-coalitions and https://www.niwrc.org/tribal-partners
For those who want to double-check how the charities spend before they consider any donations, Charity Navigator may help.
Update on 2/6/2023: Updated certain information regarding State governments, as while it is true many of them prevent Native American governments from imposing laws to protect people from sex offenders, it is also true that the Federal government holds sole jurisdiction over the majority of offenses in Native American lands and constantly ignores the issues while imposing laws that prevent Native Americans from suing people who rape and murder their families. State governments in recent years have imposed laws that ban Native Americans from suing Catholic Priests who raped them in Christian Boarding Schools that they were forced into going by US Federal mandate. Therefore, institutional genocide is an appropriate term.
For those who want a legitimate source:
A Short Video: How prejudice affects official search for missing Indigenous women, other women of color
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