Cover art for podcast Strong Feelings

Strong Feelings

86 EpisodesProduced by Katel LeDû & Sara Wachter-BoettcherWebsite

Best friends and business partners Katel and Sara let it all out in a weekly show about work, friendship, and feminism. Plus, intimate conversations with authors, artists, activists, and entrepreneurs about how they got where they are, what they learned in the process, and what they do to find joy. … read more


Walking the Tightrope with Sarah Deer

Indigenous women and girls face some of the highest rates of violence in the United States—and often fall through the cracks of the federal and tribal justice systems. We talk to tribal law and victims’ rights expert Sarah Deer about her work to change that—while pushing back against mass incarceration.

Sarah Deer is a lawyer, professor, Muscogee (Creek) tribe member, MacArthur fellow, and an expert in tribal law and victim’s rights. She’s best known for her work on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women act in 2013, but she’s dedicated her entire career to ending violence against Native women. We talked to her just after she was inducted in the National Women’s Hall of Fame this fall—and we had so much we wanted to know.

Heads up: As you might guess, this episode talks extensively about sexual violence and child sexual abuse. Take care of yourselves when you listen.

If we can center the voices of Native women, and frankly women of color generally—center them rather than marginalize us—we can start to craft solutions that are going to help everyone. I mean, I think if we can solve rape in Indian Country, we can solve rape anywhere.
Sarah Deer, tribal law and victim’s rights expert and 2019 National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee | Photo by Natalie Sinisgalli

We talk about:

  • What it’s like to operate from inside a system that was not designed to serve you
  • How Sarah’s work played a direct role in the 2010 Tribal Law and Order Act
  • Why the 2019 VAWA reauthorization is still stalled in Congress
    How Sarah makes sense of the tension between fighting mass incarceration and working with the legal system

Plus: How to decide which tradeoffs to make, what we can do to work within unjust systems without becoming part of those systems, and why there’s nothing empowering about having more women running fracking companies or payday lending schemes.

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