Just Films - Sisters Rising: Native Women Reclaiming Sovereignty

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Cost: Free - Zoom link will be given to registrants prior to event

Watch the film here!

password: CUMOVSR21

JOIN THE PANEL DISCUSSION HERE: https://chatham.zoom.us/j/95267842964

“The abhorrent violence that is a constant in the lives of Indigenous peoples impacts Indigenous women first,” says Co-producer Jaida Grey Eagle (Ogala Lakota), “We are on the frontlines of an ongoing legacy of violent colonization, and it is vitally important that the world see and hear us.”

Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women. 1 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, a teacher of Indigenous women’s self-defense, 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.

Sue Frietsche (Moderator) sfrietsche@womenslawproject.org: Susan Frietsche is a Senior Staff Attorney and the founder and director of the Western Pennsylvania Office of the Women’s Law Project, where she has worked since 1992.
Her law practice focuses on providing legal services for the 17 freestanding abortion facilities in Pennsylvania, including direct representation in state and federal courts, amicus representation, compliance work, legislative advocacy, representation before state licensure boards, and strategic defense from anti-abortion violence and disruption. Frietsche has appeared as counsel for young women seeking confidential abortions in over 50 judicial bypass cases. In addition to her reproductive rights practice, she engages in civil litigation and advocacy involving sexual harassment and sexual assault in education and employment settings, Title IX athletics, LGBTQ discrimination, economic security, incarcerated women, criminalization of pregnancy, and race and gender bias in the legal system. She has argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Circuits as well as Pennsylvania appellate courts. She is the co-author of “Women on the Court and the Court on Women,” in The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law in the Commonwealth 1684-2017 (John J. Hare, ed., 2018), and “Preserving the Core of Roe: Reflections on Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” published in the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. She is a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she teaches Reproductive Law and Policy and Gender and the Law. Prior to joining the staff of the Women’s Law Project, Frietsche was the Deputy Director of the Pennsylvania ACLU and the organization’s state lobbyist. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Temple University Law School.

Alexa Blyan: Alexa Blyan is an 18-year-old international activist, mentor and motivational speaker from Lloydminster, Canada. She advocates for issues such as mental health, addictions awareness, and Indigenous rights issues such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples, and Intergenerational trauma. Alexa recently started her project Digital Voices which she launched January 2021 with CBC News. She She has spoken at events such as Pecha Kucha, Sister in Spirit Vigils, and The Western Canadian Tobacco Reduction Forum. She was in attendance for the 2020 launch of the Alberta Committee Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Alexa has been featured on CKUW Radio in Manitoba, CBC News Edmonton, PTL News Lloydminster, and City News Edmonton. Recently, Alexa has been working with APTN, and the Yellowhead Institute on various projects regarding Indigenous people in Canada. Some of her international work includes appearances on Fishbowl Radio in Texas, Authors On The Air in Florida, and with VS Holmes in New Hampshire. During her spare time she is an active facilitator of the KAIROS blanket activity and is now mentoring under Stephanie Harpe (International Advocate for MMEIP, Murdered, Missing, and Exploited Indigenous Peoples, Two time award winning Humanitarian recognized by the United Nations, Redx Talks, and Tedx Talks Recipient, Musician, and Actress, best known for her role in Blackstone).

Candi Brings Plenty: Candi Brings Plenty doesn’t just embrace change. She has a history of making it happen. As the indigenous justice organizer for the ACLU of South Dakota, Candi works to build the ACLU’s public education and advocacy programs through coalition-building, leadership development, communication, and lobbying. She leads the efforts surrounding the ACLU’s NoKXL, NoDAPL, MMIW, and Two Spirit visibility work. She is also the organizer for all West River ACLU campaigns in South Dakota. Candi, who identifies as Two Spirit – a modern umbrella term for indigenous people that recognizes there are multiple genders and that sexuality can be fluid – is a lifelong advocate for justice. As a Lakota cultural practitioner and through her spiritual activism, Candi works to bring her medicine to the Oyaté and advocates especially for the empowerment and visibility of Two Spirit warriors to reclaim their walk of life in the sacred circle. Prior to joining the ACLU of South Dakota, Candi was the campaign adviser and executive proxy for the tribal president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the executive director of the EQUI Institute, a trans and queer health clinic, in Portland, Ore. She was also the founder of the Two Spirit Nation and led the Two Spirit encampment at Standing Rock for 11 months during the peaceful prayer movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Candi has a bachelor’s degree in Native American studies with an emphasis on tribal laws and treaties. She completed her graduate certificate in public and nonprofit management and pursued her master’s degree in public administration from Portland State University in Portland, Ore. Candi is an Oglala Lakota Sioux tribal member and a direct descendent of Crazy Horse’s Band. She grew up in the Black Hills and on the Pine Ridge Reservation, she is deeply rooted in her Lakota culture, spirituality, and language. Candi will make uncharted impacts within the ACLU while engaging her indigenous communities to empower their civil liberties.


Fee : Free - Zoom link will be given to registrants prior to event

Registration has closed. Please contact Melody Harris at m.harris@chatham.edu for additional information.

Contact Information

Melody Harris