A Cultural Reckoning and a Vision of Restorative Justice
November 24, 2020
In partnership with our friends at Sakara
“The Northern Cheyenne people have a saying: A nation is not defeated until the hearts of its women are on the ground,” says Lucy Rain Simpson, executive director of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. “And that was a primary tactic. If you want to break a nation down, you purposefully try to make women no longer respected.” In her role, Simpson works to safeguard Native women and children. Today, she unpacks much of what is misunderstood about the rampant sexual violence on Native land, including that over 90 percent of the perpetrators are non-Indian. She explains the impact of federal mismanagement and complacency around these crimes and why assaults against women are particularly corrosive in Native culture. And she shares ways that we can begin to break the cycle of violence, as well as a vision of what justice would look like. “If we can come back to a place where women are sacred, that gives us the foundation for building everything else up,” she says.