Sliver of a Full Moon, A Play About Justice for Native Women at Yale Law School in New Haven—Tuesday 31 March 2015
Yale Law School presented a reading of Sliver of a Full Moon, the powerful play written by playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle, from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Mohegan Director Madeline Sayet livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 31 March at 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 4:30 p.m. MDT (Denver) / 3:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 2:30 p.m. AKDT (Anchorage).
Sliver of a Full Moon was staged at a law school for the first time ever to pay tribute to the incredible progress inherent in the partial restoration of Native nations’ jurisdiction to prosecute those who commit crimes against Native women on tribal lands in the 2013 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”). Sliver of a Full Moon is the story of a movement to restore safety and access to justice to American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States. It documents the grassroots movement leading up to the historic 2013 re-authorization of VAWA—an affirmative step towards restoring safety to Native women and sovereignty to Indian tribes to address certain violent crimes committed by non-Indians on Native lands. On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed VAWA into law.
The enactment of VAWA 2013 is critical for American Indian and Alaska Native women. "One in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and six in ten will be physically assaulted," said Lucy Rain Simpson, Executive Director of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. Simpson added that, "Even worse, on some reservations, the murder rate for Native women is ten times the national average."
Sliver of a Full Moon’s cast featured three courageous Native women who stepped forward to publicly share their stories of abuse by non-Indians and counter staunch opponents to the tribal provisions—Diane Millich (Southern Ute), Lisa Brunner (White Earth Ojibwe), and Billie Jo Rich (Eastern Band Cherokee). Professional actors joined them to portray Congressman Tom Cole (Chickasaw Nation), Eastern Band Cherokee Councilwoman Terri Henry, and Tulalip Tribe’s former Vice-Chairwoman Deborah Parker. And, for the first time ever, Sliver of a Full Moon featured the stories of women survivors and advocates from Alaska, including Lenora (Lynn) Hootch, Joann Horn, Priscilla Kameroff, Shirley Moses, Nettie Warbelow, and Tami Jerue.
Following the performance, Native women survivors Lisa Brunner (White Earth Ojibwe), Billie Jo Rich (Eastern Band Cherokee), and Diane Millich (Southern Ute), as well as tribal leaders former Vice-Chairwoman Deborah Parker (Tulalip Tribes) and Chairwoman Terri Henry (Eastern Band Cherokee) engaged the audience in a post-show panel discussion concerning the intersections of federal Indian law, tribal sovereignty, and safety of Native women.
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