Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Plea bargain struck in Minnesota MMIW case

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | March 27th, 2018

Laycie Jean Williams after attacker pled guilty to kidnapping - Facebook live feed snapshotST. PAUL – The case of a man charged with multiple counts – including kidnapping and strangulation assault – against an Indigenous woman, will not be going to trial.

On Monday, Derrick Jonathan Fasig, 24, pled guilty to felony kidnapping, but not guilty to four other charges of third degree criminal sex conduct – forced or coerced, possession of ammunition and a firearm, felony domestic assault, and domestic assault by strangulation, according to Ramsey County District Court records.

Laycie Jean Williams, the reported victim, met Fasig while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at Oceti Sakowin, or the Standing Rock camps, she said. Williams claimed that she was raped and beaten, threatened with a knife, strangled, and forced to kneel on a broom after the protests ended when she traveled to St. Paul en route to another pipeline protest in northern Minnesota.

“He admitted to everything he did and took the plea agreement for kidnapping,” Williams, a registered member of the Crow Creek Tribe, said. “Made me feel good that he took responsibility for what he did. He wasn't remorseful, but I wasn't expecting him to be. It's a type of emotional freedom. It's going to be a long healing process to feel content. It wasn't easy going there to face him face-to-face, but I want to be the strong example for every other women who's scared to speak up.”

Williams’ mother, Melaine Stoneman, a Sicangu Lakota woman from the Rosebud Tribe, believes Fasig should face rape charges.

“I can tell you that’s what has happened so far was truly detrimental in moving forward,” Stoneman said in a Facebook live feed. “It’s not over. There were also other women who were raped at camp.”

Some women have spoken about their experiences; others wish to remain anonymous, fearing retribution or victim shaming.

“We had over 25 women raped at Oceti Sakowin,” Stoneman, who worked as a chef at the Oceti Sakowin main camp kitchen, said.

Because victims were scared and activists at the camps believed police would not protect or serve them, the reported cases were kept internal, and not reported to the authorities, she said.

“In the near future, for those of you who have an agenda you should not be profiteering off Oceti Sakowin,” Stoneman said. “We need to take Oceti Sakowin back, it’s not made for this kind of dysfunction that is happening to our women.”

Since Williams story was first published, many people have sent Stoneman messages trying to shame her, and her daughter, Stoneman said.

Fasig’s sentencing is set for May 14, at 1:30 p.m., according to Ramsey County District Court records.

Shortly after Fasig pled guilty, Angelo Sison, co-founder of Withstand With Wolves, an environmental conservation organization near Cannonball, North Dakota, posted a live feed video to Facebook addressing men and missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“It’s one thing to post a live feed, but it’s another to walk in that way,” Sison said. “My post earlier said that I will probably be losing some friends today, but I want to practice what I preach.”

“This is more of a callout, this is more of a challenge for all the men including myself, we need to do better, we need to do so much better. Speak your truths… whether you lose friends or not, you have to stand for what’s right.”

Indigenous women in Indigenous communities are repeatedly targeted, and shamed, and silenced, he said.

“Society loves to point fingers at women who come forward with accusations,” Sison said. “That’s why a lot of women are scared. We as a society point our fingers at them and say they are lying, that they are trying to set someone up and frame them. We have to stop that.

“Men are a huge part of that problem. Stop victim shaming.”

Men cannot know what women go through, he said, but he’s seen the violence, he is guilty of keeping his mouth shut, but he has chosen to stop.

“I do stand with Laycie… stand for what’s right,” Sison said. “Stand for justice. Stand for all these voices that are often silenced. Stand for the people who have had their voices taken away, and as men we need to do so much better. We need to hold each other to a higher standard, as men. This is what our youth are looking at. We lead by example.

“This system wasn’t built for us to strive or to succeed, and it makes it that much harder, but I don’t want the youth, the young men of tomorrow to be statistics. I don’t want them to be… we just need to do better as men. When we say respect women, when we say we honor them, we need to walk that walk.

“We have to admit when we are wrong, when we have done wrong to women.”

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Attorney General’s office announced Friday it is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for gross negligence and tortious acts during the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy in 2016.The state has…

The 45th Annual Downtown Fargo Street Fair has been making efforts to increase the number of local vendors. The Local Block will be located at the north end of the 300 block on Broadway, near the Fargo Theatre.The High Plains…

Thursday, July 26 at 5 p.m.-midnightFargo Brewing Company, 610 N University, FargoHip hop artist, community activist, and member of Rhymesayers, Brother Ali will appear with Nooky Jones at The Fargo Brewing Company. Nooky Jones was…

With all of the excitement surrounding the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana, why aren’t we discussing the possibilities of industrial hemp? You might not catch a buzz from it but there’s all kinds of other…

“Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s Off To Work We Go!”How many undocumented workers are in the United States? Estimates range from 11 to 25 million. We need some history to understand why our immigration laws are in such a mess. The most…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

All About Food

​Food truck fever

by HPR Contributor

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comHave you all been to Taco Brothers Taco Truck yet? Or how about Poke Bowl Food Truck? Have you tried the Walleye Wrap at Chef Mobile? There may have been a few mobile food establishments in decades…

We had a chance to chat with Duluth native Gaelynn Lea at Winnipeg Folk Festival. Not only did she tell us how she developed her sound she told us about her experience winning the NPR Tiny Desk Concert and the trials and…

Boots Riley hallucinates a wildly funny feature debut with “Sorry to Bother You,” a sharp-fanged social satire that mashes up the innovative handmade aesthetics of Michel Gondry with the fierce truth-to-power consciousness of…

Arts

Dan Mihuta: The Art Maker

by HPR Contributor

By Rod Hadland rodanthonyhadland@gmail.comThe name Mr. Mihuta may not be familiar, but for most of my life, I’ve known that name. There was a television show where Mr. Mihuta taught art projects, in various mediums, that I…

Theatre

Xanadu: The Musical

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduGet ready to dive into a world full of demi-gods, mythological creatures, and plenty of disco balls when you see Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater’s exciting first show of its 72nd season:…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

Once a year, fans of beer in the FM area have access to what their heart desires... bragging rights. The Rare Beer Picnic grants beer aficionados the ability to taste whatever their heart desires from their favorite beer…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu Recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.- The United Nations…