SISTERS RISING FILM & PANEL
“The abhorrent violence that is a constant in the lives of Indigenous peoples impacts Indigenous women first … We are on the frontlines of an ongoing legacy of violent colonization, and it is vitally important that the world see and hear us.” – Jaida Grey Eagle (Ogala Lakota)
Thank you for watching the Sisters Rising Documentary and joining our virtual panel discussion and Q&A on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
This page will remain a resource page.
ABOUT THE FILM:
Sisters Rising is a powerful feature documentary about six Native American women reclaiming personal & tribal sovereignty.
Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women. One in 3 Native women report having been raped during her lifetime, and 86% of the offenses are committed by non-Native men. These perpetrators exploit gaps in tribal jurisdictional authority and target Native women as ‘safe victims’. Sisters Rising follows six women who refuse to let this pattern of violence continue in the shadows: a tribal cop in the midst of the North Dakota oil boom, an attorney fighting to overturn restrictions on tribal sovereignty, an Indigenous women’s self-defense instructor, grassroots advocates working to influence legislative change, and the author of the first anti-sex trafficking code to be introduced to a reservation’s tribal court. Their stories shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS:
Carole Cadue-Blackwood, LMSW
Carole Cadue-Blackwood, enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas (Thunder Clan), is moving into her new role as a therapist at the Kansas City Indian Center, after serving the community at The Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center and other organizations. This position is Carole coming full-circle, as her parents helped found the Indian Center, and she completed her graduate school practicum there.
A staunch Indigenous activist, Carole has been involved in the “Not in Our Coalition” team that is working to end the use of Native Americans as mascots, helping to pass Savanna’s Act at the federal level, and testifying before the Kansas legislature on bills related to MMIW and more.
Sarah Deer, JD
Sarah Deer is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas. Her 2015 book, The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America is the culmination of over 25 years of working with survivors and has received several awards, including the Best First Book award from the Native American Indigenous Studies Association. A lawyer by training but an advocate in practice, Deer’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights, using Indigenous feminist principles as a framework. Deer is a co-author of four textbooks on tribal law, and she has been published in a wide variety of law journals, including the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. Her work to end violence against Native women has received national awards from the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice. She has testified before Congress on four occasions regarding violence against Native women and was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder to chair a federal advisory committee on sexual violence in Indian country. Professor Deer was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2014. In 2019, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She currently teaches at the University of Kansas (her alma mater), where she holds a joint appointment in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Professor Deer is also the Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.
Jaida Grey Eagle (Sisters Rising co-producer)
Jaida Grey Eagle is an Oglala Lakota artist, currently located in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is a photojournalist, producer, beadwork artist and writer.
Jaida is a Report for America Fellow with the Sahan Journal covering the immigrant and refugee stories of the Twin Cities. She is also researching Indigenous photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as an ongoing former curatorial fellow.
Jaida co-produced the Sisters Rising documentary, which is the story of six Native American women reclaiming personal and tribal sovereignty in the face of ongoing sexual violence against Indigenous women in the United States. The film recently received an Honorable Mention at the Big Sky Doc Festival. She is passionate about bringing awareness to Indigenous issues, especially those that impact Indigenous women.
Jaida is a B.Yellowtail Collective artist, which features her beaded earrings. Her work is inspired by her family’s usage of color, passed down from a great-grandmother’s star-quilt color philosophy of using six colors or more in every piece. Jaida creates abstractions of her great-grandmother’s star quilts as fringed earrings with a blending of colors that are significant to her family’s legacy as Lakota artists.
She holds her bachelors of fine arts emphasizing in fine art photography from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Laurie Ramirez, MSW
Laurie is committed to the health and well-being of oppressed populations, particularly those of Indigenous/Latinx populations. She develops helping relationships with Native communities in Kansas and the surrounding areas to engage tribal partners and welfare systems in community interventions. Laurie has experience teaching classes at Haskell Indian Nations University and serves as the advisor for Native students attending the School.
Research interests include culturally grounded social work practice with oppressed populations, diversity, equity and inclusion in social work education, children and families, and evaluation of culturally adapted practices.
Hailee Birdtail, Moderator
Hailee Birdtail is a member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community located in Northeastern Montana. She currently is a first-year master’s student in KU’s Indigenous Studies Program. Plans to apply to KU Law as well. Her life goal is to be a tribal attorney for tribal nation and an advocate for young women and girls, as Indigenous women and girls are facing an epidemic known as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). As an Indigenous woman, she feels it is her duty and obligation to utilize her knowledge and experience to be the voice for those who do not have one. She is determined and passionate about the field she’s studying and cannot wait to pursue her dreams.