Sarah Deer #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #NAHM #AmericanIndianandAlaskaNativeHeritageMonth

Adafruit NativeAmericanHeritageMonth 2021 blog

Sarah Deer is the Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals and author of The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America. She is an advocate working to end violence against Native women, legal scholar, MacArthur Foundation and Carnegie Fellow and inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame who also holds a joint appointment in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the Universy of Kansas. Sarah Deer’s work was key in the passing of The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the reauthotirzation of the Violence Against Women Act.

From the MacArthur Foundation

A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, Deer has documented in academic scholarship the historical and ideological underpinnings of the failure to adequately protect victims of physical and sexual abuse in Indian Country, and she has worked with grassroots and national organizations attempting to navigate the complex legal and bureaucratic hurdles facing Native victims of violence. This work has allowed her to mediate between sectors within Native communities who disagree on the appropriate role of the U.S. legal system on reservations and on how to most effectively respond to the issue of violence against women. In spearheading a 2007 Amnesty International report, Maze of Injustice, Deer reframed the problem of sexual violence in Indian Country as an international human rights issue. In addition, she brought Native American leaders, health specialists, and women’s advocates together around the intersection between violence against women and tribal governance, thereby launching widespread efforts to reform federal policies that interfere with the ability of tribes to prosecute offenders.

Read more from Sarah Deer’s site, the MacArthur Foundation, the University of Kansas, National Women’s Hall of Fame, Carnegie.org, Brooklyn College, see more from Engaging Voices, macfound and SmithsonianNMAI on YouTube and follow @SarahDeer72 on Twitter.


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