A women's memorial march in British Columbia, Canada. Photo: Jen Castro

Ruth Hopkins: The cycle of genocide continues with violence against Native women

The disappearance of death of Savanna Greywind continues to weigh heavily on Indian Country. Writer Ruth Hopkins, a citizen of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, won't forget the names of other missing and murdered indigenous women:
Native genocide is ongoing. It hides itself behind words like suicide, food deserts, disease, addiction, violence, and erasure, but the result is the same. All because the colonizer has a hole inside him that he cannot fill.

War, disease, and starvation did not work. We survived. They unilaterally breached treaties, stole our lands and children, outlawed our religion, and threw our ancestors in jails, asylums, and concentration camps. We went underground. We adapted…but so did genocide. It’s become more insidious; covert. It’s slipped into the collective subconscious, chased with a heavy dose of misogyny. When society ignores injustices committed against brown bodies, our lives are devalued. Pop culture dehumanizes us by saying we’re nothing more than a cheap Halloween costume or objects meant solely for sexual gratification. Fake headdresses, racist mascots and confederate flag dreamcatchers tell an ignorant public that we’re extinct while spitting on the sacred.

If you want to destroy a people, you target the women. We are the root, the heart, and the backbone. We are Mother. We birth mighty red nations. That’s why colonial governments forcibly sterilized thousands of Native women for decades.

They are still killing us.

There are very little statistics available on the epidemic of missing and murdered Native women, but I can tell you this, the numbers are staggering.

Read More on the Story:
Ruth Hopkins: Savanna Greywind Murder: Violence Against Native Women Perpetuates Genocide (Indian Country Media Network August 29, 2017)

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