Kelly Hayes, Truthout
April 28, 2022
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center reports that, “In numerous cases, medical examiners, coroners, and prosecutors have wrongfully reported the cause of death of American Indian women as undetermined, possible suicide, or hypothermia in order to quickly close the case.” One example is Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, whose grandmother was told she died from a drug overdose. A toxicology report revealed Kaysera showed no indication of drug use, but since the County Coroner had cremated Kaysera’s body without her family’s permission, no further inquiry was possible. Parents of missing Indigenous women and girls are frequently told by police that their daughters are probably “out partying.” In cases where a parent’s worst fears are confirmed, the system’s unsympathetic posture is unaltered. In 2015, a police officer told Allison Highwolf’s mother, “Just because your daughter died, the world doesn’t revolve around you.”
Some work within the movement to end the disappearance of Indigenous relatives is focused on reforming the manner in which cases are investigated and prosecuted, but today, we are going to talk about some of the other work that’s happening. This is a big movement, and it does include people like me, who do not believe these systems can be reformed, because they are functioning as they always have and as they were intended to. But we don’t actually have to agree on prison or police abolition to understand the value of the organizing that’s being done within an abolitionist framework around this issue. In fact, I think we all have a lot to learn from the life-giving work that people like my friend Morning Star Gali are doing in response to this crisis.
Morning Star is a member of the Ajumawi band of the Pit River Nation. She is a lifelong Indigenous activist and the project director of Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples. Morning Star is also a tribal water organizer for Save California Salmon. It’s hard to summarize the scope of Morning Star’s contributions, but today we are going to talk about her work supporting Indigenous families who have been impacted by the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives.
Read Full Article Here: https://truthout.org/audio/indigenous-abolitionists-are-organizing-for-healing-and-survival/