Ending Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women in the U.S.

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Earlier this month, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo issued a statement during her visit to the U.S. scrutinizing the U.S. for its continued failure to prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence crimes against Native American and Alaska Native women and girls.

Consistent with Amnesty International’s findings in 2007’s “Maze of Injustice” report documenting the epidemic of sexual violence in Indian Country, Manjoo met with tribal leaders and advocates, who confirmed Amnesty’s own findings – including Department of Justice statistics citing that 86% of perpetrators of sexual violence against Native women and girls are in fact, non-Native men.

This horrific statistic is an all too familiar, frightening daily reality for Native women – particularly as tribal courts still have no jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native offenders, often leaving survivors of sexual violence without access to justice or redress for crimes committed against them.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day all this week, it is all too clear that the U.S. still has a long way to go in addressing this epidemic of sexual violence against Indigenous women here in the U.S.

But it is equally important to note and applaud the significant, albeit long-awaited, successes of the past year – including President Obama’s historic signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act last July, and the President’s endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in December 2010. Both Congress and the Administration have demonstrated their commitment to improving public safety and justice services in Indian Country – and we must now ensure that the policies and programs provided in critical legislation such as the Tribal Law and Order Act are not only fully funded, but are also consistent with the provisions of the UNDRIP.

Many important strides have been achieved since the Maze of Injustice report launched Amnesty’s effort to join the countless other tribal leaders, Indigenous rights, and women’s advocates who have worked hard to bring to light the shocking crimes of sexual violence against Native women that have been left in the shadows for far too long.

This International Women’s Day and week, we honor those advocates and those survivors whose incredible strength and efforts continue to drive this work, and these successes. All women have the right to feel and be safe and secure in their own communities.

We have a long way to go – but with your continued advocacy and efforts, we can get there.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

10 thoughts on “Ending Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women in the U.S.

  1. Remembering Jancita.

    Jancita Eagledeer Sheldahl.

    Rosebud Rez.

    South Dakota.

    Young Jancita, babysitting for William Janklow.

    Janklow drives her back from his house that night.

    & rapes her on the way.

    Dennis Banks prosecuted Janklow for the rape at the Rosebud tribal court.

    Janklow never showed up.

    He ran, instead … for Governor of South Dakota.

    Accused by AIM …. of raping an Indian ??

    It was enough to make "Mad Dog"Janklow win the election.

    That's what an Indian rape accusation can do for a white man.

    In an election year.

    As for Jancita Eagledeer, she ended up in the clutches of a secret agent for the FBI. An agent….. & a killer.

    Her days with him were a continuation … & culmination … of her rape by Mad Dog Janklow.

    Her body & mind serially broken & taken apart, Jancita was finally placed, disoriented, on a dark road …. positioned helpless in the path of a vehicle that lifted & hurled her smashed body a considerable distance away.

  2. Remembering Jancita.

    Jancita Eagledeer Sheldahl.

    Rosebud Rez.

    South Dakota.

    Young Jancita, babysitting for William Janklow.

    Janklow drives her back from his house that night.

    & rapes her on the way.

    Dennis Banks prosecuted Janklow for the rape at the Rosebud tribal court.

    Janklow never showed up.

    He ran, instead … for Governor of South Dakota.

    Accused by AIM …. of raping an Indian ??

    It was enough to make “Mad Dog”Janklow win the election.

    That’s what an Indian rape accusation can do for a white man.

    In an election year.

    As for Jancita Eagledeer, she ended up in the clutches of a secret agent for the FBI. An agent….. & a killer.

    Her days with him were a continuation … & culmination … of her rape by Mad Dog Janklow.

    Her body & mind serially broken & taken apart, Jancita was finally placed, disoriented, on a dark road …. positioned helpless in the path of a vehicle that lifted & hurled her smashed body a considerable distance away.

  3. This is disgusting and only one example. I hope that this legislation will be passed. And any other needed legislation for Indian Lands. The United States blatantly stole by force and murder the lands that were theirs. They have been given every shortcoming and bad deal ever since. White Americans who feel that they have moral superiority over these persecuted people need a whoopin'. Especially this asshole. Pardon my french. This is long overdue and there is nothing that can be done to erase the past or our debt to Native Americans who were slaughtered, lied to, stolen from . Yet offering the most cooperation possible in helping them have the freedoms and tools they need to arrest , try and convict anybody from perpetrating on their land must be granted and implemented immediately. Due to massive poverty, thanks to not enough done by the government to help alleviate the situation, which has also led to major drug problems within the society and a lack of hope which fosters crime in general… there may be some false reporting. Who gives a shit , the foundations of the tragedy are in the pockets of the USA and so is the responsibility to fix it… Not through meddling in their internal affairs but through $$$ that is being spent on aid to other countries that don't need it and furthermore have no legitimate cause to even be given it. All moneys given to other countries to develop their military or supply weapons that may someday be used against us should be spent on fixing our country's internal problems. We are now sending aid to Japan for their small tsunami (by comparison with others) When they already own a good portion of our country. Misguided good intentions. We need to make things right at home and clean this house first. Let's give our Native Americans what they need without any grumbling about it. Wake up people!!! The time to change for the positive is now!!! Truly, you could bury my heart at wounded knee.

    It is definitely more about attitude than money though … Only through love can true healing occur. We are all brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. If everybody had the right spirit of sharing and caring … these problems could have never been. Not too late to change. Peace!

  4. This is disgusting and only one example. I hope that this legislation will be passed. And any other needed legislation for Indian Lands. The United States blatantly stole by force and murder the lands that were theirs. They have been given every shortcoming and bad deal ever since. White Americans who feel that they have moral superiority over these persecuted people need a whoopin’. Especially this asshole. Pardon my french. This is long overdue and there is nothing that can be done to erase the past or our debt to Native Americans who were slaughtered, lied to, stolen from . Yet offering the most cooperation possible in helping them have the freedoms and tools they need to arrest , try and convict anybody from perpetrating on their land must be granted and implemented immediately. Due to massive poverty, thanks to not enough done by the government to help alleviate the situation, which has also led to major drug problems within the society and a lack of hope which fosters crime in general… there may be some false reporting. Who gives a shit , the foundations of the tragedy are in the pockets of the USA and so is the responsibility to fix it… Not through meddling in their internal affairs but through $$$ that is being spent on aid to other countries that don’t need it and furthermore have no legitimate cause to even be given it. All moneys given to other countries to develop their military or supply weapons that may someday be used against us should be spent on fixing our country’s internal problems. We are now sending aid to Japan for their small tsunami (by comparison with others) When they already own a good portion of our country. Misguided good intentions. We need to make things right at home and clean this house first. Let’s give our Native Americans what they need without any grumbling about it. Wake up people!!! The time to change for the positive is now!!! Truly, you could bury my heart at wounded knee.

    It is definitely more about attitude than money though … Only through love can true healing occur. We are all brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. If everybody had the right spirit of sharing and caring … these problems could have never been. Not too late to change. Peace!

  5. Michael Drews, my friend, my friend….

    Glad to hear your words !

    Right you are — STOP US MILITARY AID, SEND AID TO THE DISPOSSESSED INDIAN, THE SNOWBOUND NATIVE, THE POOR OF ALL RACES !

    Rape in Indian Country used to be fittingly served, when Indian Country belonged to the Indian !

    After Custer wiped out Black Kettle's peaceful Cheyenne village on the Washita, the survivors were herded together & driven to a fort amidst a blizzard.

    On that dark & terrible journey, as the defenceless People stumbled thru the snow mourning the dead, the beautiful maidens there were "divided" among the officers of the 7th Cavalry.

    The niece of Black Kettle, the pacifist chief shot down while trying to flee with his wife on the Washita river, was sent to Custer's tent.

    The name of this girl was Monahsetah.

    She had a child from this …. a boy.

    Later, she rejoined her People.

    In those days, the sacred hoop — the Circle of the healing Indian Way — was still not broken, as it mostly is today, & Monahsetah raised her son within her People's Circle.

    Years later, my friend ….. she was walking thru the battlefield of the Little Big Horn as the dust was settling on that bloody day … when she saw & recognized Custer's naked corpse.

    The Circle had Turned … & now it was the General who was lying stripped at the feet of the woman.

    Monahsetah knelt down, & took out her sewing awl from her pouch ,,,,

    & punctured his eardrums.

    Why ?

    So he could hear better in the Spirit world.

    For he hadn't listened to the vow of binding peace the chiefs had made with him.

    That's how the Violator paid for his Transgression.

  6. Michael Drews, my friend, my friend….

    Glad to hear your words !

    Right you are — STOP US MILITARY AID, SEND AID TO THE DISPOSSESSED INDIAN, THE SNOWBOUND NATIVE, THE POOR OF ALL RACES !

    Rape in Indian Country used to be fittingly served, when Indian Country belonged to the Indian !

    After Custer wiped out Black Kettle’s peaceful Cheyenne village on the Washita, the survivors were herded together & driven to a fort amidst a blizzard.

    On that dark & terrible journey, as the defenceless People stumbled thru the snow mourning the dead, the beautiful maidens there were “divided” among the officers of the 7th Cavalry.

    The niece of Black Kettle, the pacifist chief shot down while trying to flee with his wife on the Washita river, was sent to Custer’s tent.

    The name of this girl was Monahsetah.

    She had a child from this …. a boy.

    Later, she rejoined her People.

    In those days, the sacred hoop — the Circle of the healing Indian Way — was still not broken, as it mostly is today, & Monahsetah raised her son within her People’s Circle.

    Years later, my friend ….. she was walking thru the battlefield of the Little Big Horn as the dust was settling on that bloody day … when she saw & recognized Custer’s naked corpse.

    The Circle had Turned … & now it was the General who was lying stripped at the feet of the woman.

    Monahsetah knelt down, & took out her sewing awl from her pouch ,,,,

    & punctured his eardrums.

    Why ?

    So he could hear better in the Spirit world.

    For he hadn’t listened to the vow of binding peace the chiefs had made with him.

    That’s how the Violator paid for his Transgression.

  7. Thank you, Angela…

    Centuries of abuse must stop now… The systematic "rape" of Native peoples, sexually and otherwise, has been tolerated by the dominant society for centuries… But, I can assure you that there will be a day of reckoning…

    The statistical data presented regarding the hard facts and cold rapes of indigenous women is now being brought to the light of day…

    It is very unfortunate that there is so little empathy for Native Americans… Will will mainstream "society" become civilized? When will justice prevail? It may happen sooner than one might expect…

    The Tribal Law and Order Act and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples were too long in coming, but they are cause for hope… As the world has become a closer-knit community of nations through electronic media, we should all be hopeful that the global awareness of such atrocities can no longer languish in the darkness…

    As atrocities against women of color continue across the globe, it is the disenfranchised and powerless that continue to suffer at the hands of their oppressors… More often than not, it is in the least civilized countries where there is no real system of justice… But, here in the United States of America??

    Yes, Jancita Eagle Deer was murdered… Bill Janklow was never tried for that crime… The FBI was never prosecuted for even one murder on or off of the reservation… Dickie Wilson's GOON squad was sanctioned, if not directed, by the FBI… So were thousands of other Native peoples mudered in the inglorious history of American "democracy"…

    It is also important to remember and acknowledge that Douglass Durham murdered his wife while a law enforcement officer in 1964… And yet, utilized by many law enforcement agencies after this ~ and, as an FBI agent provocateur ~ he beat, sexually-abused and was complicit in Jancita's murder… There is a third party who was involved, who has, up until now, escaped justice… His day is coming soon…

    For Jancita and the others hundreds of victims of white men's crimes, there will be justice some day soon… It is simply NOT enough just to try to forget…

  8. Thank you, Angela…

    Centuries of abuse must stop now… The systematic “rape” of Native peoples, sexually and otherwise, has been tolerated by the dominant society for centuries… But, I can assure you that there will be a day of reckoning…

    The statistical data presented regarding the hard facts and cold rapes of indigenous women is now being brought to the light of day…

    It is very unfortunate that there is so little empathy for Native Americans… Will will mainstream “society” become civilized? When will justice prevail? It may happen sooner than one might expect…

    The Tribal Law and Order Act and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples were too long in coming, but they are cause for hope… As the world has become a closer-knit community of nations through electronic media, we should all be hopeful that the global awareness of such atrocities can no longer languish in the darkness…

    As atrocities against women of color continue across the globe, it is the disenfranchised and powerless that continue to suffer at the hands of their oppressors… More often than not, it is in the least civilized countries where there is no real system of justice… But, here in the United States of America??

    Yes, Jancita Eagle Deer was murdered… Bill Janklow was never tried for that crime… The FBI was never prosecuted for even one murder on or off of the reservation… Dickie Wilson’s GOON squad was sanctioned, if not directed, by the FBI… So were thousands of other Native peoples mudered in the inglorious history of American “democracy”…

    It is also important to remember and acknowledge that Douglass Durham murdered his wife while a law enforcement officer in 1964… And yet, utilized by many law enforcement agencies after this ~ and, as an FBI agent provocateur ~ he beat, sexually-abused and was complicit in Jancita’s murder… There is a third party who was involved, who has, up until now, escaped justice… His day is coming soon…

    For Jancita and the others hundreds of victims of white men’s crimes, there will be justice some day soon… It is simply NOT enough just to try to forget…