The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Disappearances of Native American women


In just the past year, three Native American women have been killed in northern Minnesota and two have gone missing.
One woman has been found but the other remains missing. Another woman had been abducted but had managed to escape. It is suspected that they are being taken to the Bakken, an oil rich area in North Dakota, and being forced into commercial sex work.
According to Chris Stark, a researcher focusing on sex trafficking in Duluth’s port, said. “There’s a connection between like the reservations and places like Bemidji and Duluth and the Twin Cities in terms of trafficking and prostitution routes that are run.”
Federal data shows that native women are more vulnerable to exploitation. They are twice as likely to get sexually assaulted than women of other races. Nikki Crowe, a resident of the Fond du Lac, said, “We’re already so vulnerable that perpetrators see that we’re so easy to victimize. So it might just be a man saying the things that we want to hear that lead us away.”
The socioeconomic inequalities and discrimination Native women face is even more prevalent in Canada. It is believed that the number of victims exceeds 1,200 girls and women.
“At the individual level, it takes collective action and awareness for men and women to respond. At a governmental level, it requires better understanding and representation of these minority groups. But on a societal level it challenges deepest biases of objectifying women and ignoring Native American rights, biases that we must work to overturn,” said Kavya N. (10).
In early February, six United Nations experts met to design a national inquiry that would “fully address the root causes of the extreme violence and discrimination against indigenous women and girls in the country.”
The inquiry will be put into full swing this year. It is hoped that the families of victims will gain closure from the inquiry and people will become more aware of the ever-present cloud of racism in Canada.
“It’s important for all of us, when hearing about this news, to take initiative to engage with others in conversations pertaining to these topics, and ultimately show that we as individuals care about the gross mistreatment of many women across the world, and wish that others feel the same,” said Janice Y (10).

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