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Indigenous Women Warriors: No More Stolen Sisters Infographic and Design Summary

By: Kim Zierlein

English Rhetoric Final Assignment Penn State World Campus

Submitted May 3, 2020

Infographic Design Report

This square infographic aims at presenting two essential statistics on undeniable factors for violent crimes against indigenous women. According to Pinon’s article from the MMIW (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women) March in 2018, 84.3% of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime. (Pinon, 2018) This is a large percentage of a small dynamic in a nation where there are many nationalities represented. The National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) states that 79.6% of their female victims of rape experience this pre 25 years old for all American females from the NVIS 2010 Summary Report. That percentage being said, Indigenous women are experiencing violence in horrific numbers in their female population more so than the overall population in the US. It is a large issue to try and help a cultural demographic get information out, and stop violence against women; specifically, against Indigenous women.


Description of Infographic Audience and Purpose

It is recorded nationally that approximately 1 in 5 women experience some type of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. (ncadv.org, 2020) This number is alarming, but what is more alarming is that Indigenous women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the USA. (Maze of Injustice, 2020) This is the reason this is such a hot bed issue that we all need to acknowledge in the United States. These numbers are astonishing on one small cultural demographic is the delicate balance between Tribal Government and United States Government.


Treaties, the US Constitution and federal law affirm a unique political and legal relationship between federal recognized tribal nations and the federal government. (Maze for Injustice, 2020)


The truth is that Native women face a higher rate of danger than white or other women in the United States. A people that went from their own societies and government systems long before the European explorers happened upon the continent by accident, have fallen into the first real case of attempted genocide and deep-seeded prejudice hate-crimes at the root of this countries founding. The face that language such as “merciless Indian savages” is used in the U.S. Constitution lays the groundwork for deep-seeded prejudice. Being forced onto reservations during the Western Frontier expansion in the late 1800s and early 1900s in American history has caused deep poverty, drug addiction, and alcoholism to be the everyday normal among native men and women. Poverty and addiction are a coping mechanism as the first “U.S. Government Welfare” program. This makes an entire demographic in a population pool vulnerable to all types of crimes. More specifically, women in these societies have become targets to some. Kennedy-Howard introduces some of these statistically shocking numbers in her article, We Are Not Invisible.


Over eighty percent of the sex crimes committed on Tribal lands alone are committed by non-Native men immune from prosecution by Tribal court. (Kennedy-Howard, 2019)


Honor the Earth, a Native-led organization working on environmental issues, reports that Native communities in North Dakota experienced a dramatic spike in sexual assault and violence when the population doubled with non-Native fossil fuel project workers. In 2013, the group reported that “violent crime has increased 7.2 percent, while 243 reported rapes occurred in 2012—an increase from 207 in 2011.” (Kennedy-Howard, 2019)


Sadly, this is a hard reality that needs to be looked at with absolute passion to resolve. It is time to look deeply at this demographic of women who are being preyed upon like other women in the United States, but at a higher rate than the rest of the racial demographics tracked on government websites. This issue is something that all women in the United States need to look at, and fight for answers with a passion. Like stated prior 1 in 4 women will experience a violent crime as a gender group, but more specifically, the Indigenous woman is 2.5x more likely to experience these crimes. These numbers should be startling and it is time to notice that the Murdered Missing Indigenous Women’s movement is growing. This is for a universal audience to be aware of the situation and act now.


Design Analysis

  • Main color scheme: Red & Black strong, bold contrast to tie in the already growing theme of the MMIW movement

  • The Red Hand Print is incorporated in the title since this is the main graphic element used in most MMIW and violence against Indigenous women’s social media posts, articles, and photos.

  • Large graphic presentation of female pictograph for the 2.5x more likely statistic at the bottom of the graphic to keep it weighted and grounded (this is a weighty issue demanding dominance and to feel weighty)

  • A single bar representing 100% of Native women relies on color to pull the statistic for the fact that over three-quarters of Native women will experience violence in their lifetime (just a quick fact overall woman in American experience this same fate at 79%)

  • 2 key facts are presented under the heading focusing on the numbers of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women


Original Data Visualization

This was intended to be a simple, bold infographic focusing on the disparity in numbers or a demographic not represented well in violent crimes publicly. It is a strong contrast design that focuses on 2-4 basic statistics that all tie into each other. The Missing Murdered Indigenous Women’s Movement (MMIW) is starting to gain notoriety and visibility. May 5th is the annual recognized day for this movement. Strong pictorial images are at the root of this infographic to help tie it with related material as well as giving it a powerful scale of imagery. Simple. Clean. Powerful.


Assignment Reflection

This assignment is something that I am enjoying. With an AAS in Graphic Design I am learning to strengthen my writing and graphic skills as well to harvest information for more powerful messages. It is challenging with the deadline, but that is the beauty of making this a simulation to the workplace deadlines that often occur. I am rethinking how I organizing, process, and develop an idea. This assignment is helping me look at planning differently than I have before for other projects.

References

Maze of Injustice. 2020. A Summary of Amnesty International Findings. Retrieved from https://www.amnestyusa.org/reports/maze-of-injustice/

Kennedy-Howard, 2019. We Are Not Invisible. Retrieved from https://msmagazine.com/2019/05/06/we-are-not-invisible-addressing-the-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-crisis%EF%BB%BF/

Pinon, Natasha. 2018. Marching On for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Retrieved from:

https://msmagazine.com/2018/02/26/marching-missing-murdered-indigenous-women/

National Sexual Violence Research Center. 2020. NISVS 2010 Summary Report. Retrieved from https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics.

NCAVD. 2020. Statistics: National Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.ncadv.org/statistics

1787. United States Constitution. Retrieved from https://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/constitution.pdf

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