How To Rape A Woman And Get Away With It

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This title is not an exaggeration or misstatement, although I really wish it were. I did not go to Netroots Nation to learn that it was possible to rape a woman, right here in the United States and walk away with absolutely no consequences to the rapist. But that’s what I learned in a panel discussion on Friday morning.

Come over the fold and I’ll tell you exactly how this happens – and you can take an action, a small first step towards ending this nightmare.

How to rape a woman and get away with it – a step by step guide:

NOTE: this method works best for white perpetrators.

1. Go to an Indian reservation.

2. Choose your victim.

3. Rape her.

4. Leave the reservation.

At this point the police may get involved. This is not a problem for the rapist at all; in fact, it is kind of an additional rape of the victim, a two-for-one violation. Let me illustrate how the police investigation will likely go down:

A rape victim sits on a Indian Health Services clinic bed as the police discuss the situation:

Tribal officer to local white police: The perpetrator is white, I don’t have jurisdiction. Do you?

Local police: Nope, the victim is Native American. I don’t have jurisdiction. How about you Mr. State Trooper?

State Trooper: Not my problem. According to Public Law 280 I have no jurisdiction. This is a tribal or federal matter.

Tribal Officer: But there aren’t any FBI agents on the reservation right now.

Local police: Well, the victim will just have to wait until one comes.

State Trooper: This Indian Health Service clinic doesn’t even have a rape kit, so there won’t be any forensic evidence.

Local police: I guess this is the end of it. (Tips his hat to the rape victim) You have a nice day ma’am.

Tribal officer, Local Policeman and State Trooper exit.

Victim: Isn’t anyone going to do anything?

Indian Health Service physician assistant: Hey, I can give you some ibuprofen before I send you home!

Georgia LittleShield, Director of Pretty Bird Woman House knows all about this. It happened to her daughter years ago. The rapist is free, has never faced charges and is on the reservation – where he can encounter and threaten his victim. No consequences, not a single one.

Let me tell you something: perpetrators, predators and sex offenders know all about this! They target Native American women! They travel to reservations to choose their victims! It is rape tourism, right here in Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alaska and any place where the confusing mess of jurisdictional issues allow perpetrators to hide.

Are there even words to describe this evil?

There is something you can do right now to help:

Use Amnesty International USA’s form to contact the newly appointed Director of Indian Health Services Robert G. McSwain and tell him to make sure IHS has free rape kits available for victims of sexual assault – CLICK HERE TO CONTACT IHS DIRECTOR ROBERT MCSWAIN

Join Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women Campaign

Small things, but it is a start.

Get Informed:

Read/Download the original Amnesty International Report: Maze of Injustice and the recent updates.

Visit Pretty Bird Woman House website and read the amazing story of how this women’s shelter was helped by the netroots!

A Brief Personal Note

I know there are other issues of great importance. I know we must elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America. Our top short term policy priority must be to end the illegal war in Iraq. Our top long term priority must be to halt global warming.  

But, like torture, this is simply evil. It must be stopped.

Our panel on this topic at Netroot Nations was a failure. We only had at most fifteen people there. The topic is one most people prefer to avoid and I did not promote it enough.  

But we have to speak up. We must. This is not a case where we simply teach Native Americans how to blog and suddenly they have their own voice to speak on these issues. Many reservations have only very limited internet access – pretty much only dialup. They don’t even have computers in most cases!!

Someone has to help give these women a voice. Amnesty International has done a tremendous amount of work on this. But we need more. Please, help me with this. Spread the word.

As a result of this diary I

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Austin Rollcall :: Native American Caucus :: Updatedx3

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I will be organizing the Native American Caucus again this year at Netroots Nation in Austin.

Time and room assignments have not been issued yet but most likely will take place on Thursday, August 17th in the early afternoon at 9 a.m.  I will update this diary when I receive this info.

Please comment below if you are going to attend the convention.

Also, if you are unable to attend please comment below on the topics you would like us to discuss.

I will diary a recap with photos after the event.



Rain from Street Prophets will be doing a Star designed quilt this year with a Native American blogger focus.  She has invited the members of this blog to stop by her table and sign a patch. I will be signing one.  Please spread the word.

Update 2:

Rain has posted a photo of the Star Quilt below in the comments.  It is beautiful!

Update 3:

The room location and time has been posted for our caucus:

Native American Caucus

Thu, 07/17/2008 – 9:00am, Room 11

Connect with like-minded folks and talk with others from your community in our identity, issue and regional caucuses.

Full Schedule here:…


2007 Recap of our Native American Netroots Caucus at YearlyKos

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We met on August 2, 2007 in Chicago at the YearlyKos Convention.  Last year I had about 6 people attend, this year there were 14.  That’s more than a hundred percent increase IMO. ;)

We started by going around the room and telling our background.  I will re-tell mine and then I have asked all the participants to please post all their comments at the caucus here in this blog. 

My background below:

My mother is a product of the U.S. Government boarding school system. 

My mother was forcefully taken away to a boarding school in Tuba City, Arizona in the late 1930s at the approximate age of 5 or 6. She was one of ten siblings on the Navajo reservation.  Five children were hidden in the canyon and the other five were given up to the government.

My mother always recalls this episode with pain and tears.  She describes her mother sobbing as she watched her tiny children having their hair cut off, the tiny rolls of hair left at her feet and riding away in the back of a pickup truck.  My mother did not stop crying for weeks.  They were dusted with lice powder and she resented this because she insists that they were clean, “we were not dirty animals, we were clean!”  She said they were not allowed to speak Navajo and they were punished if they did.  Her sister Zonnie died at the school, crushed and trampled in a crowd.  My grandfather missed his children so much that he would ride his horse the 60 miles to visit them.

The other half of the children were hidden in Inscription House canyon.  These kids never went to school nor learned English.  They all stayed on the reservation and lived in the traditional manner; in hogans, no electricity nor running water.  They tended herds of sheep and goats. They grew corn, squash and melons.  They wove rugs and baskets to make a living.

The siblings that went to boarding school all left the reservation and became assimilated into white society, as was the government plan.  My mother and Caucasian father settled off the reservation in central Utah where I grew up.  My mother did not teach us Navajo deliberately.  She wanted us to speak English well and she was advised at the boarding school as she was growing up that the Navajo language would slow her children down.  We did learn a few words however when we heard her speaking to our relatives on the rez.  I wish I was fluent in Navajo. 

My grandfather and my uncle were Medicine Men.  Some of my most treasured experiences involve these two men.

I was awarded a Navajo Tribe scholarship in my twenties that put me through college.  I have always wanted to give something back in return.

A few years ago I became involved with an immersion school in Flagstaff that is trying to keep the Navajo language and culture alive.  I built a

fundraising website for them. Their test scores are excellent so they will continue to receive public school support.  Of course that funding is not enough.

Today I see the tremendous effect that the netroots has had on the political landscape.  DailyKos has changed the way we receive our news and has provided a way for us to act.  We have made a difference. I felt it was important to set up a blog for us. I feel that this blog, Native American Netroots can do the same thing that DailyKos has done to help our ongoing struggle for preservation of identity and cultural history.  It will be our forum for the discussion of political, social and economic issues affecting the indigenous peoples of the United States, including our lack of political representation, economic deprivation and health care issues.

I asked for three things of those in attendance at our caucus.

1. Please tell us your ideas.

2. Please spread the word about our blog.  Our tribes need a place to get information and they need a place to discuss, plan and act.

3. Please join and visit this blog and write about what you said at our caucus.

I will continue to work on the layout of this blog in my spare time, e.g. create a section for ACTION ALERTS, etc.

I will communicate with some sites that provide news but don’t yet have an RSS feed.

It was suggested to keep the website simple so those peeps on dial-up would be able to access it.  Perhaps I need to put the photos on another page.  I also made our banner in a hurry.  It is not optimized so I will do that soon.

There were many excellent comments.  One comment by Rayne in particular made me think and that is that many on the rez don’t have computers but many more have cellphones.  I have to study how to create pages for cellphones.

I was warmed and encouraged by the attendance of two young men, Kevin from Oglala Lakota College and Matt from South Dakota.  I think Matt was still in high school.  It is commendatory that these young guys would be willing to spend their precious youth at a political convention.  I am very impressed with that.  I hope they will talk to us here.  I told them that they are the ones who can help our tribes.  They have the tech savvy. They will be the wave that sets this in motion. I asked them to please reach out to their age group and contribute to this information broadcast project.

I was so pleased to meet Cosmic Debris and hear about her cultural artifact preservation work.  I was honored to meet Mindoca, ultrageek, Mi Corazon, Imelda, Rayne and to see again Cheryl Contee, Rain, American River Canyon, SallyCat, Mr. Cat and David Boyle again. If I missed mentioning you it is because you didn’t sign my sign in sheet or make it in any photos, apologies.

Other folk at YearlyKos found me and made suggestions.  For example Kid Oakland suggested I contact Mary Beth Williams at Wampum which I will do. We all need to work together.

Many thanks to those in attendance and I look forward to growing this site with your help.

Here are my photos:




There are also six photos of our caucus at Mona Brooks website. 3 at the bottom of this page and then 3 on the next page you can navigate to.

Please use this diary to re-tell your comments at our conference.