This past December, the Pixel Project approached the StrongHearts Native Helpline and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center on doing an in-depth inspirational interview with Caroline LaPorte (Senior Native Affairs Advisor). The 10 questions were broken up into a two-part series.
The Pixel Project is a complete virtual, volunteer-led global 501(c)3 nonprofit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women through campaigns, initiatives, projects, and programmes at the intersection of social media, new technologies, and popular culture/the Arts. We are a worldwide coalition of grassroots activists and volunteers who strongly believe that men and women must take a stand together for the right of women and girls to live a life free of gender-based violence. Our team, our allies, and our supporters use the power of the internet to mount a global effort to raise awareness about and hopefully mobilise communities around the world to get involved with ending violence against girls and women.
8. Tell us about NIWRC’s plans for the future. What campaigns, programmes, or projects do you have coming up in the next 5 years?
This work is about incremental change towards a larger goal: full restoration of inherent tribal jurisdiction. Our plans are simple: continue to prioritise tribal concerns and to elevate tribal solutions to address those concerns. As stated earlier, the federal government has what is called a “trust relationship” to tribes, a relationship based on treaties and rooted in Supreme Court precedent. This relationship is legal in nature. The federal government is to fulfill its obligation to tribes and to members of those tribes by promoting tribal sovereignty and self-determination and by providing resources in order to do so. Our advocacy will always fall in line with that framework. What we know from consultation with tribes and from listening to tribes on what they need in order to ensure safety for native women starts with jurisdiction and is rounded out with resources. It is those priorities that we will continue to push.
Currently, we are heavily focused on a meaningful reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act, on legislation and policy reform to address missing and murdered Native women, and on legislation to address the severe resource disparity that tribal communities contend with.
9. How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support the efforts of NIWRC to stop violence against Indigenous women and girls?
Most importantly for us, we need allies who understand the difference between a race-based framework (which we do not support) and a sovereign (nation-to-nation) framework. This problem always appears in many issues that Indian Country faces. American Indians and Alaska Natives are citizens of 573 different sovereign Indian Nations – members of distinct political sovereigns, not a race of people.
You can also seek to educate yourself and your communities on the history of how native people have been treated in the United States. Remember that Native voices need to be centralised and brought in from the margins. One way that you can become informed is through our policy magazine, which was created to elevate a central platform for our movement. Here is our latest issue.
READ: The the rest of part 2 Inspirational Interview here: http://bit.ly/2QzWaNZ
READ: The part 1 of the Inspirational Interview here: http://bit.ly/2VGEku5