June 30th, 2014 Last Updated on: June 30th, 2014
In a press release from Vision Maker Media, they have announced their collaboration with the producers of Young Lakota for the release of www.SovereignBodies.com. The website is a transmedia project that will tackle disparity in Native women’s access to health services.
The team that produced the independent film Young Lakota (featured on ITVS’s Independent Lens) launched the website to provide a platform for Native-led work. It is their hope that the project will ignite important, new conversations around the struggle for reproductive justice and bodily sovereignty, bringing unique perspectives into the mainstream dialogue on human rights and social justice.
A collection of video interviews and blogs are presented by Native leaders in the field of health services, as well as young female writers who share their personal stories. Featured contributors include Katrina Cantrell, an abortion advocate for Native women in California and Cecilia Fire Thunder, who defied proposed North Dakota legislation by vowing to build a banned women’s clinic on her reservation.
“It’s about working against any law that affects me and my reproductive system,” says Fire Thunder, “because that belongs to me.”
Recent laws, including the Violence Against Women Act of 2013, aim at protecting Native American women, but many view this as only a small measure and are calling for greater legislation to address the decades of neglect that have disadvantaged Native women. On reservations, sexual assault has become a norm, with women facing the horrific reality that 1 in 3 Native women will be raped, over double the national average. Victims of assault are further traumatized by the struggle to obtain care, including access to rape kits, emergency contraception, and safe birth control.
In case you missed the Young Lakota film, you can watch the trailer below:
For more information on the project please visit SovereignBodies.com
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