United under the banner of “Defending the Sacred” Alaskan groups from across the state have joined together to rally on the opening day of the 2018 Alaska Federation of Natives convention. The message is a call to action for an end to the violence against women and children and an end to the degradation of Alaskan lands & waters.
The rates of missing & murdered Indigenous women and girls in Alaska is staggering, and many go unreported or unrecognized. Alaska Native women have the highest rates of sexual violence “than any other gender or racial group in Alaska, comprising 42% of all reported victims” (2017, Alaska State Public Safety Report) . In 2016 the number of reported missing American Indian and Alaska Native women was at 5,712 (National Crime Information Center). Recent tragedies in Alaska further underscore the state of emergency Alaska’s Indigenous women and children face. The murder of Ashley Johnson-Barr, 10, in Kotzebue and the lack of justice regarding Justin Schneider’s kidnapping and sexual assault in Anchorage. Groups rally on Thursday to say “enough is enough, we demand justice; our bodies are sacred, our people are sacred.
Originally published October 17, 2018
by Alannah Hurley
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