In a joint project of the Indian Law Resource Center (Indianlaw.org), the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (niwrc.org) and Buffalo Nickel Creative (buffalonickelcreative.com) produced videos to define Native love. The project focuses on raising awareness about violence against Native women and empowering Native people to speak out about traditional cultural values that honor and respect Native women.
“The corn itself represents a woman-they give life, produce life and they’re able to sustain and to feed a whole family…Women should be appreciated, honored and loved as such.” Justin Secakuku (Hopi).
Justin Secakuku is a member of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and lives in the village of Shugopavi. Justin shares the Hopi view of white corn, known as the corn mother, and likens it to the value of women in Native communities to give and produce life.
“The reason why we’re here, the reason why I’m able to sit on this campus is someone died for me. Somebody prayed for me. Somebody cried for me. Somebody struggled for me. Teaching that to somebody, knowing what kind of responsibility they have living up for those sacrifices, can change your perspective on life.” Jalisa Ross (Creek/Cherokee/Otoe-Missouri) Miss Oklahoma City University.
Jalisa Ross is a senior majoring in political science at Oklahoma City University, where she is the reigning Miss Indian OCU.
- Native women are victims of violent crimes 2.5 times the national average. (U.S. Justice Department)
- Arrests occur in only 13% of sexual assaults reported by Native women. (U.S. Justice Department)
“Native Love is love that is shown by what you do not just what you say. For example, food is a very big part of our culture so one way that we show that we love each other is that we eat together and we feed each other.” Jessica Black (Gwich’In)
Alaska is home to 229 federally recognized tribes. Of those tribes operating within some 200 rural Alaska Native villages, only 78 are served by local state law enforcement.
- Native women in Alaska suffer the highest rates of sexual assault in the United States.
- Alaska Native woman is sexually assaulted every 18 hours.
“My message to men on how respect Native women would be treat women how you would want your daughters to be treated.” -Raelyn Rodriguez (Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians)
- Today, 64% of American Indian women are victims of domestic violence