FEATURED ART: “Wind River” feature film

Hugh Dillon, Elizabeth Olsen and Graham Greene star in Wind River

“Watching the movie (Wind River) was intense. So many things run through your mind, you’re fact checking, you’re running legal analysis on jurisdiction and case law, your emotions are overwhelmed. I think at the end of it, I just remembered that the lived experience of many of our Indigenous sisters is what this movie is attempting to portray. The complicit-ness of our federal government, of companies and corporations, of towns all adds up to one thing: genocide is an ongoing story in our tribal nations. Genocide is not a thing of the past, though that history is certainly complicit in it’s perpetuation as well.

Watching it with the NCAI group in Washington D.C. was difficult because so many people in the room have been fighting to end violence in our communities for so long and so many of those seated in the audience were indigenous as well. I think the movie sort of had an emotional toll on everyone. When it was my turn to speak, though I was supposed to give a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) update, I found myself speaking to those pieces. Rape and murder are not an epidemic in our communities; they are continuously utilized tools of genocide. I spoke to our resilience and to the barriers our resilience, often tested by jurisdiction, lack of resources, and  degradation of tribal sovereignty to name a few. I advocated for a full Oliphant fix and for a reminder that the realization of capacity, this will be about a strengthening of our sovereignty and the commitment the government must have regarding its trust responsibility to our Nations.”

–Caroline LaPorte, Senior Native Affairs Policy Advisor for NIWRC

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