I hope you had a chance to read gjohnsit's Daily Kos diary The Great California Genocide. gjohnsit chronicles hundreds of years deliberate (if not uniform) policy of extermination by the white Europeans against Native Americans:
The state of California also got involved. The government paid about $1.1 Million in 1852 to militias to hunt down and kill indians. In 1857 the California legislature allocated another $410,000 for the same purposes.
In 1856 the state of California paid 25 cents for each indian scalp. In 1860 the bounty was increased to $5.
You might think these horrors are confined to our past; a relic from which we are distanced by more than a century. In a sense you are absolutely right. We don't pay a bounty for murdered Indians any more. But we allow white men to rape Indian women and get away with it.
That's why Rape Tourism exists today - white men looking for a quick, violent thrill heading to a reservation to find a woman to rape.
You can help end this obscenity.
Amnesty International documented the insanity of the situation Native American women live in. Their report Maze of injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from violence documented the how and why of the situation, the ins and outs of the law which allows this to happen.
As a result of the Amnesty International report things have begun to improve... slowly. Amnesty International has updated (.pdf warning) the Maze of Injustice report to reflect changes in the year since its release:
In Oklahoma, as of November 1, 2007 all police officers who go through the academy must have 6 hours of Sexual Violence training.
In the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, advocates reported that the Standing Rock Police Department (SRDP) chief is now regularly meeting with, and has expressed his support for their domestic violence program.
In Oklahoma, the FBI and the BIA introduced a toll-free number to report crimes committed on tribal lands.
Maze of Injustice featured Pretty Bird Women House on the Standing Rock Reservation as an example of the struggles facing many shelters servicing Indigenous women. At the time the report was researched, the program had no physical location and had severe funding issues. Following he launch of AI’s report, bloggers from Daily Kos raised a total of almost $100,000 in support of the program. The money has allowed PBWH to buy a safe house - in the vicinity of the police department- on the reservation.
Even more promising, the Senate appears to be ready to begin to work on a law to address these issues. Senator Byron Dorgan has had a concept paper in the works about this problem. Senator Dorgan introduced legislation to address these problems: Tribal Law and Order Act.
I will be updating you about that act and enlisting your help with it. But we are not yet to the point of being able to concentrate on legislative solutions... we're about to lose another shelter and it will take a small miracle to help the shelter survive.
My Sister Friends' House
My Sister Friends' House has lost their grant funding and face closure by September if they don't get enough funding to continue to operate as a shelter. They need $11,000 by August 31st to operate through September.
The end goal is $35,000 by September 30th - three months of operating expenses as they apply for grant funding and get established out on their own.
My Sister Friends' House- Mita Maske Ti Ki - has been helping women and children escape from Domestic Violence and sexual assault in Sioux Falls and neighboring communities since 2000. Their clientele has been primarily Native American, up to 85% of the women they see identify as Native American. They have operated under the auspices of other Domestic Violence prevention programs... the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assualt (SDCADVSA) and more recently, Project Safe. However, the grants used by these organizations to fund Mita Maske Ti Ki have run out and, like so many social services in this day and age, have not been renewed.
If you think this is important - that this is worth supporting, please help us by spreading the word - blog about this drive. Feel free to steal anything I have written about this.
And if you are able, DONATE
Checks can go to:
Mita Maske Ti Ki
(My Sister Friends' House)
PO Box 2141
Sioux Falls, SD 57101
For more information specific to My Sister Friends' House please visit the blog: My Sister Friends' House