2017 From the Executive Director…

We at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center are extremely thankful that we have been selected to again serve as the National Indian Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women. We will continue our leadership in providing culturally grounded, grassroots advocacy to end gender-based violence in indigenous communities and to support tribal sovereignty. Recently, the NIWRC, and 118 Tribal Nations and organizations, filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to rule in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion for partial summary judgment. In the amicus, we urge the Army Corps to consider the increased levels of violence Native women and children in the Bakken region will face if the pipeline is permitted to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe and commence operations. This brief is the latest our VAWA Sovereignty Initiative, an NIWRC project focused on defending the constitutionality and functionality of federal law and policy related to the protection of Native women and children.

This 2017 Spring/Summer edition of Advocate! Beyond the Shelter Doors e-newsletter includes: a warm welcome to our newly nominated Southeast Region Board member Tina Marie Osceola (Seminole Tribe of Florida), a listing of NIWRC’s new digital resources, an update from February’s Hill Briefing in Washington DC with co-sponsors Indian Law Resource Center and Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, an update from our youth program NativeLove and events promoting Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, spring/summer awareness months activities and calendar, and a special Speaker’s Bureau spotlight on Mary Kathryn Nagle and her newly written play, Fairly Traceable, that opens on March 10, 2017.

In the Featured Art section, we share a new art exhibit opening in March 2017, Connecting Lines, at the Center for Contemporary Native Art in the Portland Art Museum. The artists, Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation) and Luzene Hill (Eastern Band Cherokee), will feature their work focusing on issues of violence against Native women and themes of disruption, repair and renewal of Cherokee history. The Featured Art section is where we share art forms as a means of social change including new documentaries or films, art exhibits and positive/uplifting projects connecting to preventing and healing from domestic or family violence. Suggestions welcome!

We would like to thank each advocate, each mother, each sister, each aunt, each daughter, each grandmother, each man, and each child for their continued support of the movement to end domestic violence and for making NIWRC the valuable organization it is today. We look forward to traversing this new landscape together and to the enhanced advocacy that arises.

Lucy Rain Simpson
Executive Director, NIWRC