Lynn Rosenthal, the White House advisor on Violence Against Women, has penned this column on the Justice Department’s recently announced funds to fight violence against Native American women.
As we posted here last a week ago, the Justice Department has ordered stepped-up efforts in 33 states to combat Indian Country crime, especially the abuse of women and children.
Part of those efforts include the allocation of an addition $6 million to hire assistant U.S. attorneys to deal with the backlog of cases in Indian Country. And she writes:
After all, for Native American women, even “challenges” may be an understatement. On some reservations, violent crime is more than twenty times the national average—but women tend to suffer most. Some tribes face murder rates against Native American women of more than ten times the national average. And tribal leaders say there are countless more victims of domestic violence and sexual assault whose stories may never be told. As President Obama put it at the White House Tribal Nations Conference on November 5, “the shocking and contemptible fact that one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes is an assault on our national conscience that we can no longer ignore.”
Rosenthal begins her piece by saying “all Americans should be heartened” by the news of the program, and on this point, we’re in agreement.
The White House is, of course, patting itself on the back for its own program. But this move makes us optimistic – although we’ll be watching closely for results.
Mark Trahant is a Kaiser Media Fellow examining the Indian Health Service and its relevance to the national health care reform debate. He is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Comment here.
The Indian health system is stuck in a world of conditional sentences. That’s a sentence with the phrase, “if … then.” If Congress passes health care reform, then …
There are many variables based on a complex grid of “ifs.”
The most important conditional sentences involve the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. There are slightly different versions in both the House and Senate bills. If the House language is the one to prevail, “then” means one thing. But that meaning changes if it’s the Senate version, or even if it’s a merged bill.
Bison graze in the Black Hills, historic territory of the Great Sioux Nation. (Library of Congress photo)
This one is on Indianz.com this morning, where Chuck Trimble recounts a story making the rounds that KILI, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation station, allegedly ran a story saying that a typo in a congressional bill giving 100 acres of South Dakota back to the Sioux instead turned over the entire state – and that President Obama signed the bill into law.
Didn’t work out that way. But what if it had? Among Trimble’s turn-the-tables scenarios:
Being a native son of the village, my first suggestion is to make Wanblee the new state Capitol. After all, Pierre has always been an embarrassment since nobody outside the state knows where it is or how to pronounce it (Peer, not Pee Air). It might take a while and a whole bunch of Federal stimulus funds to disassemble the Capitol building there and relocate it to Wanblee, but it would mean plenty of jobs for everyone, including disgruntled and disenfranchised white folks…
Another big question: what to do with all the non-tribal or non-Native Americans in the state. Brother Louie LaRose of Hochunkland suggests reservations for them, with boarding schools, commodities, plus a massive relocation programs.
And he finishes: It is great fun to dream of dominion, and to take the role of conquerors and colonizers for a while before we let the dream evaporate, as so many of our dreams have over the years.
Why not dream on….
The Press Trust of India gets into the “Avatar” commentary with this piece pointing to the “Avatar”/”Pocahontas” comparisons making the rounds on the Web.
“A complete rip-off” the Press Trust calls “Avatar,” and offers this harsh commentary:
“Titanic” director James Cameron spent 12 years waiting for the technology to make his dream project ‘Avatar’ but it seems that he did not have time to work on the story. He instead decided to get “inspired.”
Anyhow, we’ve posted one of the videos above, but there are lots. Here’s something to think about – what’s going to be the next film that, um, inspires yet another comparison?