Toro Y Moi : Leave Everywhere
I feel like a horrible artist stuck in rut and about to d-i-e.
Many people have read or heard reports of the global crisis of sex trafficking and prostitution. But few are aware of how disproportionately Native American women and girls are impacted.
Montano told In These Times, “I acknowledge sex trafficking is a crisis overseas and in many cultures around the globe. It’s reached crisis proportions. But being of Native descent and rarely hearing about the sex trafficking which affects Native American women here in the U.S. and First Nations people…, I was moved to bring this to public attention.”
Montano addresses this ongoing crisis in her mixed medium work, which includes collages, sketches, drawings and images of indigenous women and girls, surrounded by symbols of native culture.
In “Sundance in Red,” a young girl with long black braids wears a red fur-lined dress and oversized red high heels, a pair of handcuffs dangle from one wrist. Paper doll cutouts surround the image. Another work, “7th Moon,” shows a young girl wearing her hair in traditional Hopi buns and necklace, in a garter belt, black stockings and red shoes. There are moon images around her. She stares out at the viewer.
Says Montano, “The forced removal of native children and the trauma of relocation and abuse correlates strongly to sex trafficking. There is a socio-political link. Traffickers target women and girls who are living in vulnerable conditions due to poverty, previous abuse, or during times of political upheaval.”
A bill introduced in October by U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii)—S.B. 1763, or the Stand Against Violence and Empower Native Women (SAVE Native Women) Act—would provide Indian Country with jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crimes on Indian lands, improve the Native programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and improve data gathering programs to better understand and respond to sex trafficking of Native women. It would also require the National Institute of Justice to include women in Alaska Native Villages and sex trafficking in its study of violence against Indian women.
More on In These Times: Native Women and Sex Trafficking: An Overlooked Crisis