RIGHTS, AND JUSTICE
IN THE USA
Our goal is to promote awareness and uplift Indigenous voices so our organization and other advocates can get more involved to directly aid in the fight for these rights. The Indigenous and First Nations people in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and abroad, who were the first people to live on and name Turtle Island before colonial settlers arrived from Europe, stamping the name America on their lands, have faced a multitude of cultural, systemic, environmental, treaty violations, and sexual and physical violence. Many of these issues are a result of big capitalist corporations with unsustainable goals destroying our environment with oil pipelines that poison our waterways. The disregard for Indigenous lives by non-Native people, corporations and the governments is unacceptable. The federal, state, and local laws create a maze of justice
There are 574 federally recognized tribes and 66 state recognized tribes in the U.S.. There has been major infringement for centuries on the treaties of their tribal lands. This is caused by people with malicious intent using loopholes in the laws in place to commit violence against Indigenous peoples, their culture, their land and environment.
The Real History of Indian Residential and Boarding Schools
September 30th has been declared Orange Shirt Day, an annual day of awareness and remembrance of the harm inflicted upon Indigenous children and their families through federal government and church controlled residential school systems. Phyllis Webstad, a Secwepemc and First Nations woman, and author of The Orange Shirt Story, was one out of many Indigenous children in the U.S. and Canada forced to attend a missionary-led school in the 1970’s. At only 6 years old, and excited to be attending school, her grandmother bought her a new orange shirt so that her granddaughter could wear it for her first day. Unfortunately, on that same day Phyllis was given the shirt, taken to her first day of school and had her clothes stripped down. She was placed with other children in tight, dull colored clothing and had her hair cut off, forced to speak English and the orange shirt was taken away from her. The color orange represents the feeling Phyllis had along with so many of these children. The color represents how bright and blaring this impact was and that every child matters. The last residential school, located in Saskatchewan, CA, closed in 1996. A majority of these schools had cemeteries and undocumented deaths of these children. One school had an electric chair in the basement, others had ovens(crematoriums?). Every child matters and they should never be treated like this in any setting. Does your local school have a cemetery? Was there a school like this near you? Please look into all of these schools' genocidal history and help to take action to return these children back home to be buried properly, not remain in unmarked graves. The people who worked at these schools are still living and should be charged with cultural genocide, abuses, and crimes against humanity.
Much like the MMIW epidemic there are more undocumented deaths of these children than the TRC has documented.
Many of these children were buried in mass unmarked graves on the schools grounds. A child would be seen by another student one day, the next day they would be gone.
The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) epidemic affects Indigenous people in Canada and the United States. National Averages that are reported hide the alarmingly high rates of murder against Indigenous Women, which are present in counties primarily of tribal lands. Indigenous Women are more than 2.5 times more likely than other races and nationalities of women to be raped, sexually assaulted, and additional violence. According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), 84% of Indigenous Women experience violence in their lifetimes and 56% experience sexual violence. 97% of these women are victims of non-native perpetrators. The NIJ Research Report on Violence Against Indigenous Women from 2010 found that more than 84% (1.5 Million) Indigenous Women experience violence in their lifetimes, 67% were concerned for their own safety, and 41% were already victims. In 2018, the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) reported 5,712 missing Indigenous Women and Girls, with only 116 of them registered in the DOJ database. Not only are these women being harmed but they become cold cases.
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