Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.
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All Women Should Be Fighting For Their Sisters
Whitehorse which is located in the Yukon it is the capital and only city of the Yukon, and the largest city in northern Canada. Whitehorse is named after the historic rapids on the Yukon River which resembled the flowing manes of charging white horses. On the “Trail of '98”, the stampeders had to bypass the treacherous water of Miles Canyon and Whitehorse Rapids, south of the present city.
While we were in Whitehorse we visited Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. At the center we learned about the number of First Nation women that go missing every year it was astonishing. And how little was done to find these women, because they are Indian people. Even after the launch of a $53.8-million national inquiry, there is no way to tell how many Indigenous women and girls go missing in Canada each year. The RCMP confirm reports of more than 1,000 murdered aboriginal women. The RCMP collected files from Statistics Canada and 300 police forces across the country. It showed there were 164 Indigenous women who were missing and 1,017 Indigenous women who had been murdered over the past 30 years.
This sparked my curiosity of how many Native American women fall into the same category of missing women, which very little time is spent on finding them or what has happened to them. Between white women and Native American women are disproportionately high rates of disappearance, rape and murder of Native American women across the United States. In Indian country, in some reservations, the women are murdered at rates 10 times the national average. These already-alarming rates are particularly high in areas of oil extraction, like North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, which is the origin point for the Dakota Access pipeline.
In 1978 the United States Supreme Court stripped the Indian nations of their inherent criminal jurisdiction over anyone who comes onto their lands and commit crimes. So that means if a Native woman goes missing, her tribal government cannot exercise any kind of police jurisdiction over that crime, unless the government knows that the perpetrator was Native. And that’s because the Supreme Court says the Native American justice system does not have jurisdiction over non-Natives who come onto their lands and kill their women or children or any tribal citizen.
In 2013 the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized, in that reauthorization, one small piece was restored, and that was jurisdiction over domestic violence. So if a non-Indian commits a domestic violence crime, tribal nations can prosecute that. But for some reason murder was not restored, and not sex trafficking either, another crime that Native women suffer at disproportionate rates. If the offender is believed to be non-Native or if the tribal police cannot know with any certainty that the offender is Native, under federal law, they probably do not have jurisdiction to even arrest, let alone prosecute, these crimes.
Could the high numbers of missing native women be because of all the construction workers which come and go near the Bakken crude fields? Let’s think about it for a minute. When there is a rapid increase of any types of extraction industry on or near tribal lands the numbers of missing women go up.
In the Bakken fields from 2009 to 2018, there have been more than100,000 new workers, who did not live in North Dakota or in the Bakken area, these workers have come to that region just to work in the man camps. And they bring increased rates of crime, and one of them is domestic violence and sexual assault. Many of these men feel it is ok to abuse native women a mindset which has been used through hundreds of years in the United States. Many people still believe native people do nit deserve respect and some people in my opinion think Native Americans are not as good as the status quo. These numerous crimes over whelms the local law enforcement. But when you add all the conflicts together along with the fact that the tribal nations are without jurisdiction, which is based on the identity of the perpetrator, it is a serious crisis.
Usually when a Native American is reported missing they are usually dead. There has been no data base to try and track these women un till recently, now most all law enforcement can tap into the system, hopefully this will help locate some of these women before it is too late.
According to a 2016 National Institute of Justice Report, 56% of Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, and 38% were unable to receive any type of victim services. The high rates of sexual violence are closely interconnected with the likelihood of Native women going missing or being murdered, and on some reservations, they are murdered at more than ten times the national average.
North Dakota alone had 125 cases of missing Native women reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), compared to 5,712 total Native women cases reported in the United States. However, the actual number is likely much higher, as cases of missing Native women are often under-reported and the data has never been officially collected.
It is a shame that a nation like the US still allows the Native American people to be treated so unfairly. But then the US is the biggest culprit of all. Shame the USA and its judicial system and those who control it and shame on the rest of us for not trying to do something about this crisis. Shame on us for exploiting a group of people for centuries.