November 25, Look thru Independent Lens for Young Lakota on PBS.

Heads up, documentary film, Young Lakota to air on Independent Lens on November 25, 2013.

I am wondering how in-depth this documentary will delve into the ongoing issues facing young Lakota –especially young Lakota women. From the trailer it appears to address at some level the sexual violence endured by many Indigenous women. I’ve provided links to two very important documents created by Amnesty International. Depending on your awareness of the issues they may or may not prove to be very disturbing reading.  I think they’re required reading for anyone entering into a serious discussion of violence, abortion, and sexual issues concerning Indigenous women–and all others as well.

I discovered this  information about the film via a post by Matthew L. M. Fletcher on Turtle Talk  http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-documentary-to-premiere-on-pbs-independent-lens-nov-25/

As I could not get the video on the link via TT to work properly I ventured to the tubes of you for an alternative which is posted here. I’ve included the links cited on Turtle Talk as well.

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Young Lakota 

IndependentLens

Three young people living in the Pine Ridge Reservation try to forge a better future. When the first female President of Oglala Lakota defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by vowing to build a women’s clinic in their sovereign territory, the three young tribe members are faced with difficult choices

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Young Lakota website http://younglakota.tumblr.com/

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Racialicious :  http://www.racialicious.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-premieres-nov-25-on-independent-lens/

10 .m. EST, Monday, Nov. 25, on PBS’s Independent Lens. The film chronicles Tribal President Cecelia Fire Thunder’s challenge to a proposed abortion ban in South Dakota, and the political awakening she inspires in Sunny Clifford, a young Lakota woman living on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Young Lakota was an Official Selection at the Big Sky Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the American Indian Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at Cine Las Americas and the Smithsonian Showcase.
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Maze of Injustice:  The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA.  (Note: Depending on your PC the PDF file may load fast or slow, but it will load–or so we hope.) This is not reading for the faint of heart.  Report by Amnesty International.
http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf
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Stolen Sisters, Canada, A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada (Also not reading for the faint of heart.)
http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/amr200032004enstolensisters.pdf

Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog – Brave Bird ~ “It’s hard being an Indian Woman.”

Young Indigenous women are some of the most invisible and unrepresented people on Earth. That is one reason to read Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog,  nowBrave Bird, with Richard Erdoes even though it was published in 1990. Another reason is that it won the American Book Award in 1991.  Yet another reason is for the insight it provides into some of the tough issues young women on reservations continue to confront: violence, rape, alcoholism, drug abuse, racism, exploitation, poor education, grinding poverty.  This is not a calm, quiet memoir of a certain time and place written by a woman looking back in nostalgia with some polite veneer of wisdom gained by mature hindsight. Lakota Woman offers the perspective of a very candid, blunt spoken, tough, and passionate young woman who makes no apologies for anything. This is a woman who now knows who she is, where she came from, and why.  Part of her story includes giving birth to her first child during the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 after refusing to leave in spite of the increasing danger. While Lakota Woman does not offer any in-depth analysis of the American Indian Movement, the Trail of Broken Treaties or the Native American Church, it does offer a no punches pulled, first person female perspective based on direct experiences with all of them– a young Lakota female perspective seldom encountered in the mainstream American culture.

 I am a iyeska, a breed, that’s what the white kids used to call me. When I grew bigger they stopped calling me that, because it would get them a bloody nose. I am a small woman, not much over five feet tall, but I can hold my own in a fight, and in a free-for-all with honkies I can become rather ornery and do real damage. I have white blood in me. Often I have wished to be able to purge it out of me. As a young girl I used to look at myself in the mirror, trying to find a clue as to who and what I was. My face is very Indian, and so are my eyes and my hair, but my skin is very light. Always I waited for the summer, for the prairie sun, the Badlands sun, to tan me and make me into a real skin. (p.9)

Such are the words of Mary Brave Bird of the Brule Tribe from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.  Consider the memoirs current teenaged women of Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Reservations might share–if anyone dared put them into print.  Lakota Woman might offend some, might make some very uncomfortable, and distress others.  It certainly won’t bore anyone. It definitely offers a great deal to think about regarding women, culture, family, history, spirituality, politics, and values.

Mary Crow Dog/Brave Bird online http://marycrowdog.com/index.html

Wikipedia list of American Book Awards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Book_Award

American Book Awards  —  Before Columbus Foundation  http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/about-bcf.html

Maze of Injustice, the failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA, PDF file of Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf  Perhaps this report offers one explanation for the legistative difficulties faced by the VAWA.  Why would non-Native men want to start allowing arrest and prosecution of the non-Native men who rape Indigenous women on reservations? No rocket science required.

 

 

Stolen Sisters: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

On Tuesday 15 February 2011 Native America Calling will broadcast a radio talk show regarding Missing and Murdered Women in Vancouver.  The third annual Stolen Sisters Memorial March was held on February 13.  Heads up, we’re not talking about 5 or 6 women who have gone MIA. There are nearly 600 Indigenous women on the list compiled by the Native Women’s Association. Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest is just one of several high kill zones for Indigenous women along the Canada/United States border and the Mexico/United States border. Hundreds of unsolved murders and disappearances of Indigenous women go unsolved, seldom reported in the mainstream media, and ignored by the general population.  Amnesty International has investigated this continuing violence against Indigenous  women.  The question arises of what if these women were white and middle class? Would there then be widespread awareness and public outcry for all the crime prevention units to produce some serious results for ending this murder industry? I don’t know. 

At any rate, Native America Calling’s show will include Angela MacDougall (director of Battered Women Support Services) and Marlene George who organized the annual march. The show is broadcast live 1-2 pm Eastern Time–and will be available online afterwards.  The show streams live online. 

                          http://www.nativeamericacalling.com/

For Amnesty International’s report: A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women In Canada:

              http://www.amnesty.ca/stolensisters/amr2000304.pdf

Click photo to see more images by Adrian Lam, Time Colonist

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