A report found 94 per cent of Native American women living in Seattle say they have been raped or coerced into sex at least once in their lifetime. The damning new report — from the Urban Indian Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — is believed to be one of the first to examine the experience of native women living in an urban environment instead of on reservations. Out of the women surveyed, 94 per cent said they had been raped or forced to have sex and 69 per cent claimed they experienced street harassment. Urban Indian Health Institute Director Abigail Echo-Hawk discovered the results of the survey in in the bottom drawer of a file cabinet in the corner of her office. Nevertheless, she said she thinks it is time the community publicly addresses the high rate of abuse and homelessness. Esther Lucero, CEO of Seattle Indian Health Board — the non-profit organisation which oversees the Urban Indian Health Institute — said the reasons for such high rates of abuse and lack of accountability are multifaceted and complex. She said they partly stem from the historical trauma of colonialism. Back in May , a study by the Department of Justice revealed out of the 2,plus Native American and Alaskan Native women surveyed who lived both on and outside of reservations , 56 per cent had experienced sexual assault and rape.
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The debate over marriage in American society and the fears expressed by some conservatives that allowing diversity will somehow destroy the institution of marriage is ever evolving. While there appears to be some who feel that there is only one kind of marriage, in reality there are many options regarding marriage. Traditional Native American marriage is one of the unique types that is interesting to explore. First, however, a caution: at the beginning of the European invasion there were several hundred separate and distinct Indian cultures, each with their own view of marriage. This article discusses Indian marriage in very broad terms and we realize that there are many exceptions to some of the generalizations. In American society, part of the discussion about marriage is really about sex. While sex was a part of traditional Native American marriage, marriage was not about sex. Prior to marriage, young people were expected to engage in sexual activities.
The Wendat Huron are an Aboriginal people whose descendants live in four communities across North America — in Quebec, Michigan, Kansas and Oklahoma — and separately across the continent. Their ancestors of the 17 th century became well-known in Europe because of the writings of Jesuit missionaries who lived with them. Obviously, a Catholic order of men sworn to celibacy might not seem the best source for talking about the sex life of an entire people, but the Jesuit drive for encyclopedic knowledge about their mission charges has made them a good source on this topic, nonetheless. The Wendat formed a loose confederacy of four smaller nations or tribes: the Bear, Cord, Rock and Deer. They were a horticultural people, growing corn, beans and squash, which probably made up over two-thirds of their diet, the rest comprising fish, fruit and meat, fundamentally in that order. Most of the work of their horticulture — the planting, weeding, harvesting and grinding — was done by women. The most important social unit was the clan, a unit determined matrilineally. You belonged to the clan of your mother, not your father. People who belonged to your clan were considered related to you.
In the National Congress of American Indians found that an estimated 40 percent of women who are victims of sex trafficking identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, or First Nations. Phoenix, Arizona — which has a large Native community — has also been identified as a major jurisdiction for trafficking for sexual exploitation by the US Department of Justice. Accordingly to Valaura Imus-Nahsonhoya, a Hopi expert on human trafficking in Indian country, targeting of Native women occurs for several reasons. The Navajo-Hopi Observer reports:. Why seek Natives? Sex traffickers prey upon young girls and women they perceive as vulnerable. The high rates of poverty and hardship in tribal communities; historical trauma and culture loss; homelessness and runaway youth; high rates of involvement with child welfare systems, including entry into the foster care system; exposure to violence in the home or community; drug and alcohol abuse; and low levels of law enforcement all add up to a community rich in targets for traffickers. Imus-Nahsonhoya says that she learned most of what she knows about trafficking from survivors of this degrading and often dangerous life. But she never saw a dime of that.