Yvonne Swan is a member of the Sinixt (Arrow Lakes People) and Colville Confederated Tribes, and a once-convicted criminal. She has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of Indigenous people and raising awareness for issues that disproportionately affect Indigenous women. Through her passionate advocacy, she has become a beacon of hope and strength for many.
A pivot point in Swan's life came on August 12, 1972, when a known child molester entered the home where Swan and her children were residing, and made a move for her nephew, saying "My, what a cute little boy." Swan, whose leg was in a cast at the time, shot and killed the attacker.
Her resulting entanglement with the criminal justice system eventually led to a landmark ruling in the Washington Supreme Court, which "declared that [Swan] was entitled to have a jury consider her actions in the light of her 'perceptions of the situation, including those perceptions which were the product of our nation’s long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination.'" The ruling was the first in the country to recognize "the particular legal problems of women who defend themselves or their children from male attackers." https://ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do/our-cases/state-washington-v-wanrow
Yvonne Swan has dedicated her life to uplifting her community and preserving the rights of Indigenous women. As a key figure in the American Indian Movement, her tireless work has contributed significantly to creating a more just and equitable society. During this unforgettable event, Yvonne will delve into the unique adversities faced by Indigenous women, shedding light on the resilience and strength required to persevere and fight for change.
Swan will be joined in conversation by Professor Margo Hill, herself a forceful advocate for the rights of Indigenous Women.
Join us in celebrating the resilience and strength of Yvonne Swan and the Indigenous women she represents!
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