Protection of Native women to be discussed in next Geek Speak lecture at BHSU

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, March 20, 2017/Categories: 2017

Dr. Nikki Dragone, assistant professor of American Indian Studies and English, will address the ways in which performance-based storytelling including theatre and slam poetry functions as sites of activism and knowledge making about the issue of violence against Native women in the next Geek Speak lecture Thursday, March 23 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110 on the BHSU campus.

The next Black Hills State University Geek Speak lecture will explore how performance-based storytelling including theatre and slam poetry functions as sites of activism and knowledge making about the issue of violence against Native women.

Dr. Nikki Dragone, assistant professor of American Indian Studies and English, presents "Advocating for the protection of Native women through theatrical, spoken word and slam poetry performances" Thursday, March 23, at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 110 on the BHSU campus.

Dragone says because of legal loopholes in federal law, like the Major Crimes Act and Oliphant v. Suquamish, there were no legal protections for Native women who were victimized physically and or sexually until the Violence Against Women&rsquos Act (VAWA) 2013 reauthorization that included a tribal jurisdiction provision that recognizes Native Nations&rsquo sovereign jurisdiction over some violent crimes perpetrated by non-Natives on the reservation.

"Some U.S. Federal Indian legislation and case law has created jurisdictional loopholes by limiting the ability of Native Nations to extend their sovereign jurisdiction over violent crimes committed by non-Natives on reservation lands," said Dragone. "In many cases, this enables violent criminals to slip through jurisdictional cracks and get away with violent crimes."

Dragone also said the tribal jurisdiction clause still does not recognize Native Nations&rsquo rights to prosecute rape, child abuse, and murder. Perhaps even worse, said Dragone, VAWA only offers protection for Native women living on reservation lands within the U.S. Alaskan Native women have been omitted from the protections afforded by VAWA, according to Dragone.   

Dragone says many reservations are checker-boarded which means throughout the reservation there is native land and non-native land, which become a jurisdiction issue between law enforcements.

This Geek Speak will address the production of Cherokee playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle&rsquos "Sliver of a Full Moon" and Whisper Kish&rsquos slam poem "Violence Against Native Women is not Traditional" to understand the way performance-based storytelling functions as sites of activism and knowledge making about the issue of violence against Native women.

The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU University Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students to diversity within the disciplines.

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.

The following on-campus Geek Speak presentations, which are held Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110, are scheduled for this semester:
  • March 30, "Bad Bureaucrats? The Future of Whistleblowing in a Post-Snowden World" by BHSU alum and Ph.D. student Cody Drolc
  • April 6: "From Blake to the Beatles and Beyond: The Legacy of Romanticism" by Dr. Martin Fashbaugh, assistant professor of English
  • April 20 "Metapatterns" by Dr. Liz Fayer, instructor/coordinator Project SECOND, and Dr. Joanna Jones, former BHSU professor
  • April 27, "Madness in Popular Culture: The &lsquoInsanity&rsquo of Women, by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology
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