Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Indian women still being victimized by the law

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. Photo by Arizona State University Department of Archives and Special Collections

A wrongful death of an Indian woman in Mitchell
By Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

The issues of Race and The Law and Justice continue to be the outrageous Indian-White conflict they have always been in America and in our region – it is historical.

After decades of war between indigenous people and invaders called pioneers, the mainstream prairie population in our area falsely declared George Custer and the U.S. Cavalry the winners of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in the 1870’s which gave them the right to steal thousands of acres of treaty land and oppress dissenters. Justice for American Indians in our part of the country has been since then an outrageous example of how different peoples refuse to learn to live together.

Some of us believe it is doubtful if American society can move very far or very significantly without a major revolution in The Law as it understood historically by the white people who settled here. Law is the basis for a fair civilization and it must be examined for its shortcomings. The clear victory by the Sioux, Arapahoe and Cheyenne Alliance, out there in the middle of nowhere on the Big Horn is just one of the examples of historical events that has been so degraded and misunderstood that our people have become isolated and helpless and angry.

There is no one more victimized by the white man’s Law historically than the American Indian woman.

Judges in our state say they are neutral toward Native American Indian women who are victims of crimes, and there is evidence that many communities have attempted to correct any historical reality as they take up what is now called “domestic violence.” Judges and advocates have made compassionate efforts to protect women and to change laws and to repair legal systems to fit our modern times.

So, the question in my mind is: how does this kind of oppression of women still happen? We as a society still have a lot of work to do to bring some understanding to that question.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: A wrongful death of an Indian woman in Mitchell

(Elizabeth Cook-Lynn can be reached at ecooklynn@gmail.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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