2016 Spring Edition-June


From the Executive Director…

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) is excited to unveil our new mobile-device friendly WEBSITE in time for spring! Be sure to explore our new page for resources to aid in your journey to end violence against Native women. In April, the NIWRC staff and board met up for future planning meetings in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We took a selfie after a delicious dinner at the Tallgrass Prairie Table with #StrongHearts!

This 2016 Spring Edition of Advocate! Beyond the Shelter Doors newsletter includes: a welcome to our new Research & Evaluation Specialist Kelly Hallman, updates on our NativeLove youth challenge winners, spring awareness months coming up and guest contributors Jennifer Himel (Hopi reservation in Northern Arizona) writing about her UNite to End Violence: Native Women’s Empowerment grass-roots organization and Cindy Lynn (Cayuga Nation) from our Speaker Bureau, providing some indigenous healing for survivors, as apart of June’s PTSD Awareness Month!

In the new Featured Art section Lady Gaga gives a powerful performance raising sexual assault awareness at the Academy Awards. If you have an idea for the Featured Art section to the newsletter, we share art forms as a means of social change including; new documentaries or films, art exhibits and positive/uplifting projects connecting to domestic or family violence. Suggestions welcome!

As always, we are grateful to be a part of our shared continued work in such a robust and fulfilling movement.

Lucy Rain Simpson

Executive Director, NIWRC



In The News

NIWRC’s new mobile friendly website is now live!

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) went live with a newly designed website on Friday, April 1st, 2016. Explore press releases, videos, photographs and audio from some of NIWRC’s recent events. “We’re excited to kick off our new mobile-device user friendly website,” said Lucy Simpson, Executive Director for the NIWRC. “We will continue our focus on providing online tools to communicate and distribute key information to support grassroots advocacy and national leadership to ending gender-based violence in Indigenous communities.”

NIWRC.ORG will be an important tool in engaging, connecting, training, and sharing information and promising practices with advocates, Native nations, communities, Federal agencies and allied organizations across the country as they work to end these crimes. “We continue to add new and updated resources to our website weekly with content produced by NIWRC staff and contributors,” said Tang Cheam, Technology Director for NIWRC.

GET ON OUR MAILING LISThttp://mailer.niwrc.org/?p=subscribe.

Be sure to sign up for our general announcement lists to keep up to date with the latest news on Violence Against Women, webinars, conferences and events, funding opportunities and more!

Kelly Hallman, new Research & Evaluation Specialist for NIWRC

Kelly Hallman, PhD, is a health policy researcher whose work focuses on domestic and sexual violence prevention, HIV prevention, adolescent sexual health and well-being, indigenous empowerment, women’s empowerment, and equity in access to health services. She uses participatory, quantitative, qualitative research methods to explore how programs can be more effective. She has worked throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in Central America and South Asia. She has trained researchers and program implementers in how to monitor progress and measure impact, and is an adviser on many panels and studies, including the Population Council’s Institutional Review Board.

Kelly has authored numerous publications, including a comparative spatial mapping study, The Shrinking World of Girls at Puberty: Violence and Gender-Divergent Access to the Public Sphere among Adolescents in South Africa, showing that girls’ access to education and other community resources shrinks—while that of boys expands—at puberty due to threats of sexual violence. Research in Guatemala, Indigenous Girls in Guatemala:  Poverty and Location, demonstrates that poverty and puberty-timed household labor demands and gender role restrictions – not indigenous ethnicity – are the main barriers to Mayan girls’ schooling. Social Exclusion: The Gendering of Adolescent HIV Risks in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa confirms that female social networks reduce girls’ HIV risk behaviors.

Kelly is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She received her Ph. D. in health economics from Michigan State University.

Awareness Months coming up…

Mark your calendars:

June 2016 is LGBT Pride Month PTSD Awareness Month

  • June is LGBT Pride Month and we will be celebrating on our social media accounts at Facebook (NIWRC & NativeLove for youth) and Twitter. Be sure to like us, as we’ll be sharing videos, articles, resources and your community events! Use ‪#‎NativeLGBTPride‬ in your posts and we’ll share.
  • One such video resource is called “Two Spirit” from the animated INJUNUITY series from PBS.  Two Spirit: A person of First Nations or Native American descent possessing both a male and female spirit. An umbrella term used to describe the fluidity of First Nations/Native American gender identity and sexuality with respect to traditional tribal roles. Featuring: Mica Valdez (Mexica), Nazbah Tom (Navajo/Diné), Arlando Teller (Navajo/Diné), Charlie Ballard (Anishinaabe, Sac & fox), Esther Lucero (Navajo/Diné). Read more about Director Adrian Baker & Injunuity series here.

August 2016 is Women Equality Day & Wear Orange 

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    Wear your orange on the 25th of each month, post to social media & tag #‎NIWRCStrongHearts‬ ‪#‎UnitetoEndViolence‬

    Friday, August 26th: Women’s Equality Day (articles and fact with link to website here) Read more about the Native Women’s Equality in the UN project in an article, written by it’s founder Jennifer Himel in this newsletter!

  • Thursday, February 25th: Wear Orange, take a selfie with your friends, post to social media & tag #‎NIWRCStrongHearts‬ ‪#‎UnitetoEndViolence‬ in efforts to end violence against women internationally! This supports the UN Project: Native Women’s Empowerment group. (Read more about the project in an article in this newsletter!)
  • Sign up for our E-mail blasts to get updated on NIWRC sources (webinars, training opportunities) all month long.

Congressional Briefing: Impact of VAWA 2013 in Indian Tribes

More than 100 people accepted the invitation to attend a congressional briefing, Violence Against Women and Implementation of VAWA 2013 Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction held February 23, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The briefing was cosponsored by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The honorary congressional co-hosts were U.S. Representatives Louise M. Slaughter, Betty McCollum, Gwen Moore, and Xavier Becerra.

RESOURCE PAGEhttp://www.niwrc.org/news/resources-congressional-briefing-impact-vawa-2013-indian-tribes-february-2016. Explore our videos, audio, photos, additional press and download key documents from the briefing. Keep a lookout for the our next resource page from our collaborative efforts on a Parallel Event at NGO CSW Forum UN Commission on the Status of Women 60th Session!


Cindy Lynn: Guest Contributor from Speaker’s Bureau

As apart of June’s PTSD Awareness Month, NIWRC wanted to share some indigenous healing for survivors from our Guest Contributor from the NIWRC’s Speakers Bureau, Cindy Lynn (Cayuga Nation): “I would like to share some of my Haudenosaunee teachings about healing. The principles of peace, strength and a good mind were given to my people from the PeaceMaker. The Peacemaker gave strength and uplifted Hiawatha from his grief by using the Eagle feather to wipe his ears so he could hear. The Peacemaker wiped his eyes with leather so he could see and he gave him water to drink to clear his throat so that he could speak. Grief and Trauma are both weaknesses to us….we need our to console, nurture ourselves with aspects of creation. Nature and animals are our medicine for us to utilize. Spiritually we can recover, rebuild and reclaim ourselves toward health and wellbeing.”

View Cindy Lynn’s profile on the NIWRC Speakers Bureau: http://www.niwrc.org/speaker/cindy-martin

OPRE’s Power of Stories: Enriching Program Research & Reporting

Need help telling your organizations story?  The Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE) provides resources titled “The Power of Stories: Enriching Program Research & Reporting” and “The Power of Stories Brief-Enriching Program & Reporting” available for download.  “Historically, tribal communities have used storytelling to share language, traditions, and beliefs from one generation to another. Tribal social service programs and other human service programs can build on this rich tradition by using stories within a qualitative research framework. This report explores opportunities, considerations, and methods for using storytelling to understand and communicate information about social service programs in tribal communities.”


“Power of Stories: Enriching Program Research & Reporting” (PDF- 3 pgs)

Power of Stories Brief-Enriching Program & Reporting” (PDF-26 Pgs)


Allies in Action

Healing Circle: Online PTSD Resources

In honor of June 2016 being PTSD Awareness Month, the healing circle section of our newsletter will share some additional online resource related to PTSD healing:

1. Indian Country Today published an article in March, highlighting the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center‘s new approach to healing  techniques for their clients by combining traditional Native practices The Center for Mind-Body-Medicine.

Excerpt from article Native Mindfulness: Minnesota Indian women’s Resource Center– “When women have been sexually or physically abused, their bodies are alien to them; so it is important to relieve the tension with technics creating inner calm,” explained Gordon. “And also to share, by talking, as the worst thing is shame and isolation. Mind body medicine is about creating an atmosphere of love, having faith in other people’s capacity to help, using specific tools.” Located in Phillips, Minnesota, the MIWRC has been offering a variety of therapeutic and support programs for mental illness, sexual abuse and drug addiction for 30 years. But EagleSpeaker and LaChapelle have noticed a real progress since they started practicing their innovative mix of Native American healing and mind body techniques. “We have a growing number of women who maintain their sobriety, so we are building a community of sober women with children,” emphasized LaChapelle.

2. The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health released a video titled, Guided Breathing w/ NCDVTMH.

3. The Native Daughters journalism project (produced from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at Lincoln, NE) features profiles on Native women who served in the U.S. Military. The student led project produced three stories on Native women warriors; Darla Black epitomizes fearlessness in career home lifeNative Women find cultural grounding in U.S. Military and Powwow’s drums call women warriors.

Find stories, with interactive elements, herehttp://cojmc.unl.edu/nativedaughters/category/warriors

Excerpt from Native Women find cultural grounding in U.S. Military:

Historically, the importance of women warriors is laced throughout Native culture, carefully woven into the past. Today it remains a vital part of contemporary Native life and is likely to remain for generations to come. Regardless of the era, Native women warriors can find common ground in these issues:

•The reverence tied to the warrior’s core dates back to tribal warrior societies.

•The number of Native women enlisting in the armed forces is disproportionate, their reasons deep and complex.

• Native women warriors face a greater chance of sexual harassment, which increases their chance of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a long recovery.

• PTSD, survivor’s guilt and physical disabilities become heavy burdens, lightened by therapy, VA programs, and for some, traditional tribal healing practices. “It’s an especially big honor,” Jendry said. “It seems to be held especially close to our hearts because we can be warriors for our families, for our children.”


FEATURED ART: Lady Gaga raises Sexual Assault Awareness at Academy Awards

On Sunday, February, 28th 2016 the 88th Academy Awards, located at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, presented a musical performance by artist Lady Gaga,  preforming her song “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary The Hunting Ground. The song, “Til It Happens to You” was a 2015 Oscar Nominee for the category “Music (Original Song)” with Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga (both survivors of sexual assault). This was the first Academy Award nomination for Lady Gaga and the song was written for and featured in the documentary The Hunting Ground.

The Hunting Ground is a documentary about college campus rape and has made a name in the sexual assault community. “With studies indicating that 16-20% of women are sexually assaulted while attending college in the United States, more and more survivors are speaking about their experiences. As colleges strive to protect their brands and financial stability, assault victims often experience cover-ups by campus officials and police, but survivors continue to pursue their education and fight for changes in campus policies. (from thehuntinggroudfilm.com).”

Musical artist Lady Gaga stands with 50 survivors of sexual assaul on stage at the 88th Academy Awards after her performance of “Til It Happens To You”, from the documentary The Hunting Ground.

Although “Til It Happens to You” did not win an Oscar that night (Spectre’s “Writing’s on the Wall” did), the live performance of it by Lady Gaga at the awards ceremony stole the show. As Lady Gaga gave a soulful performance of the song on piano, over 50 survivors of sexual assault came on appeared on stage behind her and helped her finish the song. The survivors on stage had “Not Your Fault” written on their arms and helped raise awareness of sexual assault to a national audience.

See Act Stop and No More partnered with the The Hunting Ground film, promoting the Lady Gaga awards show performance and offering sexual assault resources for audience members. Explore No More’s resources including Spanish and English Data sheets, logos, posters and sample social media posts, here: http://nomore.org/toolbox/

NIWRC Updates

Updates on the NativeLove Challenge Winners

The NativeLove Challenge Winners 2016 have been busy this spring winning awards, traveling, creating videos and turning 16 year’s old! Read for updates on our national winners. Download and print the 2016 NativeLove Challenge Winners Poster here.

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians welcomes NativeLove to help celebrate national NativeLove Challenge youth winner Kristen Butcher.

Rebecca Balog, Native Love representative, thanked the community and congratulated Kristen Butcher for winning the NativeLove challenge. “Kristen’s winning message really represented exactly what NativeLove is about,” Balog said, “Because of Kristen’s impressive leadership activities in her own community, the NIWRC would like to name her as our first NativeLove Youth Ambassador. The ambassador will represent NativeLove in her community and to the nation at large with future duties to be announced.” Balong presented Butcher with a custom-made beaded medallion necklace with “Native Love” on it. Butcher got tears in her eyes standing next to her mother and grandmother. She addressed the community: “I want to do good things, I learned how to do good things from my mother and grandmother.”

Explore Butcher’s Celebration here with additional photos, videos and press release!

Kristen Butcher, the NativeLove Youth Ambassador interviews Miss Indian World at the 2016 Denver March Powwow (Butcher’s prize winning travel location!). “Native Love to me is care, compassion, kindness, courage. All these good things that come from the heart and utilizing them in a good way.”

Butcher also celebrated her 16th birthday party and the NativeLove team sent her a message on the Facebook page:

Our very special lady celebrating her Sweet Sixteen.
Kristen Butcher is our youth ambassador, our colleague, our inspiration and our friend.

We are celebrating you, Kristen!
Happy birthday ♡♡♡

Congratulations to one of our ‪#‎NativeLoveIs‬ Challenge Winner, Eric Woody (Navajo) for the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” Award!

Indian Country Today released an article listing the “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” Award winners, Eric Woody (Navajo) being one of them! Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/05/19/unity-announces-25-under-25-native-youth-leaders-2016-164538“. The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) has announced its second class of “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” honoring Native American and Alaska Native youth. The program, which launched in 2014, celebrates the achievements of Native youth leaders under the age of 25 who embody UNITY’s core mission of living a balanced life while developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.”

Eric Woody’s winning challenge photo (at the 2015 UNITY Conference) reads “#NativeLoveIs helping and taking care of one another :)”

Native Love Challenge Winner (Video) Mark Renville and his mother Lynette Renville visited the Capitol of the US in Washington, DC!

Renville’s prize winning travel location was to Washington, DC where he got to explore the nation’s capitol with his mother. He was also able to meet and have lunch with Joshuah Marshall a Project Consultant and Policy Advisor at Tribal Tech, LLC, visit the White House (Hi Obamas!) and the Washington Monument.