Join us in Jonas 110 for this week's Geek Speak; these events are free and open to the public.
Advocating for the Protection of Native Women Through Theatrical, Spoken Word and Slam Poetry Performances
Dr. Nikki Dragone
Today, in the United States, one out three Native women will be raped during her lifetime, 60% of Native women will be assaulted in their lifetimes. . . 67% of violent crimes committed against Native women are committed by non-Natives” (Sliver of a Full Moon). Twenty-three percent of violent crimes against Native women by Native men can be linked to inter-generational trauma resulting from the effects of oppression, including the boarding school system. Because of legal loopholes in federal law, like the Major Crimes Act (1885) and Oliphant v. Suquamish (1978), there were no legal protections for Native women who were victimized physically and/or sexually until the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was renewed in 2013. VAWA offers some protections, but some violent crimes are still omitted. Perhaps worse yet, VAWA only offers protection for Native women living on reservation lands within the continental United States. Alaska Native women and Hawaiian women have been omitted from the protections afforded by VAWA. This Geek Speak seeks to explore the way in which Native women (and men) in the United States are using/used slam poetry, theatrical productions and spoken word videos to advocate for greater legal protections for Native women under VAWA. Specifically, this Geek Speak will address the production of Cherokee playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sliver of a Full Moon, the spoken word video of Ryan Redcorn’s poem “To the Indigenous Women,” and the performance of Whisper Kish’s slam poem “Violence Against Native Women is not Traditional”, to open up a discussion about the ways in which Indigenous performances represent Native agency and anti-violence activism in the struggle for the protection of Native women and girls throughout the United States.