Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Social Ecology of Native Girls' Vulnerability, by Avi Âviâja

Photo of two Indigenous Australian girls is from here. Photo: Wayne Quilliam/OxfamAUS

This is a cross-post from an activist friend. Please click on the title below to link back. With great thanks to Avi for all her determination, dedication, and hard work for human rights for Indigenous Peoples globally. For me this points to an issue which was first highlighted explicitly by the Indigenous North American radical feminist and writer, Andrea Smith. She addresses the responsibility of white and non-Indigenous activists to center the experiences and analysis of Fourth World girls and women when considering the focus of our political action. To not do so is to leave this diverse population of women and girls marginalised and invisibilised. It is to say the genocide/gynocide of Indigenous girls and women is not important enough to make it a focus of our political work. This blog seeks to centralise the experiences of girls and women of color, and to remind other activists that women and girls of color are most of the world's human population. In particular, the issues facing Indigenous girls highlights the many forms of oppression that girls oppressed by gender, age, race, capitalism, ethnicity, region, religion experience, and white male supremacy.

Please join Avi and me in not ignoring these girls when you consider what courses of progressive and radical activism to take up or continue working on. If you are Western, white, trans, or male, please ask yourself this: How does the work you do make life less oppressive and more liberatory for Native girls? Is the political work you do directly accountable to Indigenous girls and women? In what ways do you support the efforts, actions, and empowerment of Indigenous women and girls?

The Social Ecology of Native Girls' Vulnerability
by Avi Âviâja


1. Poverty.
2. Physical/Sexual Abuse.
3. Parents affected by generational Trauma.
4. Parents affected by FSAD/Mental Illness.
5. Prostitution/Survival sex.
6. Substance Abuse.


1. Social Isolation.
2. Visible Active Sex Trade.
3. The Don’t Talk Rule.
4. Limited Jobs, Few Options for Education and Career Planning.
5. Community normalization of Violence.
6. Gang Activity.
7. Crime based underground Economy.


A. Government action:
1. Cultural and Human Genocide.
2. Reservation System.
3. Urban Relocation.

B. Media Glamorization of sexual exploitation:
1. Sex as Marketing Tool.
2. Emphasis on money as proof of Success.
3. Targeting of Native women for sexual exploitation.

• Unequal gendered consequences for roles in prostitution.
• Federal definition of “desiring” Victims.
• Government priorities based on group size and influence.
• Underfunded “Safety net” Systems.
• Racism.
• Socioeconomic inequality.

C. Government Action:
1. Boarding Schools.
2. Indian Adoption.
3. PROJECT Sterilization.

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