Indian Country 52 #52 – Savanna’s Act
“The murder of a Native American woman in North Dakota has inspired lawmakers in Congress to introduce a bill aimed at protecting Native women.
The bill from North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is known as Savanna’s Act for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, the pregnant 22-year-old Fargo resident who went missing in August and was later found dead.
Caroline LaPorte, senior policy advisor on native affairs at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, said the police response to cases of missing Native American women has been riddled with prejudice. And said often, no report is taken at all. Savanna’s Act focuses on this issue.
“It’s really supposed to require them to come up with a protocol to address the issue,” LaPorte said. “And that’s great and we support the bill, and we supported the bill when it came out. But really, they should be doing that already.”
LaPorte said the bill’s greatest accomplishment may be raising public awareness of this issue. According to the Department of Justice, Native American women on some reservations are murdered at 10 times the national average, and 84 percent have experienced violence.”
– Public News Service, Will Savanna’s Act Protect Native American Women?.
““We are the most victimized group of people in the United States,” said Terri Henry, the first female tribal leader of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and former co-chair of the National Congress of American Indians’ Task Force on Violence Against Women.
Compounding that trauma is the fact that most perpetrators are never brought to justice. More than 96 percent of sexual violence against native women is committed by non-natives, the Justice Department reports, but tribes are limited in their abilities to prosecute non-tribal members.
“The disproportionate rates of violence are largely due to an unworkable, discriminatory legal system that severely limits the authority of tribal nations to protect our people from violence,” Henry wrote in a statement last year, when she was co-chair of the NCAI’s task force. “As a result, we are denied justice and redress because we are indigenous and assaulted on our homelands.””
– HuffPost, Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ Punchline Ignores The Violence Native Women Face Every Day.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #52 – Savanna’s Act.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country. Follow the series: Indian Country 52
Creative Commons License
This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.