Newsletter of the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center
2019 Spring Awareness Months Coming Up…
March 2019 is Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day & Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
DOWNLOAD: February 2019 edition of Restoration Magazine here: http://bit.ly/2tTs7WR. Order your hard copy subscription and have each issue delivered to your home! Keep up to date with the latest national and international issues on violence against Native women. $30 Individual/$100 Institutional subscriptions. RESTORATION OF SOVEREIGNTY & SAFETY MAGAZINE, 2003-2019 More than a decade ago during the reauthorization process of the Violence Against Women Act, several national organizations came together to take a stand for the safety of Native women: Sacred Circle National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women, Clan Star, Inc., the National Congress of American Indians, and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. It was recognized that to fully participate in the national movement to create the changes needed to increase safety for Native women, broad communication was essential. The Restoration of Sovereignty & Safety magazine emerged to fulfill this task. The Restoration of Sovereignty & Safety magazine is a publication dedicated to informing tribal leadership and communities of emerging issues impacting the safety of American Indian and Alaska Native women.
WATCH: NIWRC’s Recorded Webinar Learning to Love Ourselves: Incorporating Compassion Care in our Work(February 2019). This webinar focuses on love, healing and self-care. Dr. Duran will introduce the pillars of compassion and how through loving and taking care of ourselves we become better advocates, better human beings and more grounded and rooted in our work of ending the violence. Presenter: Dr. Bonnie Duran, Director, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington.
READ: NIWRC’s March Women’s History Month Statement. The national theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This year’s theme honors “women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.”
SHARE: NIWRC will honor and share from the #InspiringNativeWomen album highlighting inspiring Native Women profiles & photographs. If you have a story of an inspiring historic Native woman to share, please let us know! We would love to hear from you–please contact us at [email protected]
SHARE: Friday, March 8th, International Women’s Day postcard! The NIWRC and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) collaborated on a special International Women’s Day postcard on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (#MMIW) with artist Cody Hammar (Cherokee/Muskogee). Download card here and share on your social media this International Women’s Day.
April 2019 is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month
WATCH: NIWRC Webinar “Sovereignty of the Soul: Confronting Sexual Violence Native America” (March 2018). Understanding the scope of sexual assaults committed against American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) within the context of intimate partner relationships and supporting timely tribal government responses can help reduce the trauma experienced by Native victim survivors of sexual assault. This webinar will focus on historical and contemporary sexual violence experienced by AI/ANs and share policy recommendations focused on the intersection of sexual assault and the related crimes of domestic violence and other related issues and limitations faced by tribal nations. The webinar aims to reduce disparities in the response to sexual assault of tribal victims by increasing awareness of the need for adequate and culturally appropriate responses to sexual assault in tribal communities. Partner/Presenter:Sarah Deer (Muscogee (Creek) Nation) has worked to end violence against women for over 25 years and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2014. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights. Prof. Deer is a co-author of four textbooks on tribal law. Her latest book is The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America, which has received several awards.
WATCH: National Institute of Justice’s “Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men” (2016). This video describes the findings of a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supported study on the prevalence of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men. Specifically, the study provides estimates of sexual violence, physical violence by intimate partners, stalking, and psychological aggression by intimate partners over the lifetime of American Indian and Alaska Native women and men as well as victimization estimates over of the past year (based on 2010 data). It also provides estimates of interracial and intraracial victimizations and briefly examines the impact of violence. The results should be used to raise awareness and understanding about violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men. The study used a large nationally representative sample from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). The NISVS was launched in 2010 by CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, with the support from the Department of Defense and NIJ. Read the study on NIJ.gov: https://nij.gov/publications/Pages/publication-detail.aspx?ncjnumber=249736
WATCH: NIWRC’s Webinar “Protecting the Seventh Generation: IPV, its Effect on our Children, and the Solution of Resiliency” (2017). The goal for this webinar is for participants to engage in critical thinking about how their coalition/advocates and communities are actively practicing resiliency with youth who witness or experience domestic violence/intimate partner violence in their homes. Our panel consists of Victoria Sweet from NCJFCJ, Haley Merrill from CASA, Dr. Alaina Szlachta, PHD from NDVH, and Caroline LaPorte from NIWRC.
May 2019 National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Native Women & Girls
DOWNLOAD: NIWRC’s “Tribal Community Response When a Woman Is Missing: A Toolkit for Action.” Coping with the disappearance of a loved one or community member is very difficult. The fact that American Indian and Alaska Native women experience higher rates of domestic violence and sexual assault than any other population of women in the United States has broad ramifications. One consequence of this reality is that domestic and sexual violence occurs on a spectrum of abusive behavior and can include abduction and murder. If a woman you know is missing, taking immediate action is very important. The quicker you respond, the faster she may be located and provided the help needed.
WATCH: NIWRC’s Webinar “Effective Use of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) for Case Resolution” (2017). The number of missing and unidentified persons in the United States poses one of the biggest challenges to law enforcement, medical examiners, and coroners tasked with resolving these important cases. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a national information clearinghouse and resource center which offers technology, forensic services, and investigative support to help resolve cases. Funded by the National Institute of Justice and managed through a cooperative agreement with the UNT Health Science Center, NamUs offers all services at no cost to agencies or families of the missing. The online NamUs databases are accessible to all, with secure case information accessible only to registered and vetted criminal justice users. Forensic odontology and fingerprint examination are offered through NamUs to support case comparisons, and DNA analyses and forensic anthropology services are offered through affiliated UNT Center for Human Identification laboratories. This webinar will focus on how technology can be a valuable resource to tribal nations working to build their capacity to respond to missing and murdered Indigenous peoples, and case studies will be provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the NamUs databases and forensic services. BJ Spamer, Director/Forensic & Analytic Services/NamUs and Gwendolyn Packard, Facilitator.
WATCH: NIWRC’s Webinar “Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” (2017). In 2005, the movement for the safety of Native women led the struggle to include under the Violence Against Women Act a separate title for Native women called Safety for Indian Women. One of the findings of this title was that during the period of 1979 through 1992, homicide was the third-leading cause of death of Indian females aged 15 to 34, and 75 percent were killed by family members or acquaintances. Since that time, a study by the U.S. Department of Justice has found that in some tribal communities, American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. Over the last decade awareness of this national issue has increased but more must be done at all levels to stop the disappearances and save lives. To address an issue it must first be acknowledged. Please join us on May 5th as we honor missing and murdered Indigenous women and together increase our national awareness. Partnering organizations: Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Healing Native Hearts Coalition, Indian Law Resource Center, Sacred Hoop Coalition, Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains, and National Congress of American Indians.
WATCH: NIWRC’s Webinar “Missing and Murdered Native Women-Public Awareness Efforts” (2016). In 2005, the national movement for the safety of Native women led the struggle to include in the Violence Against Women Act a separate title for Native women called Safety for Native Women. One of the findings that justified creation of the title was that during the period of 1979 through 1992, homicide was the third-leading cause of death of Indian females aged 15 to 34, and 75 percent were killed by family members or acquaintances. Since that time, a study by the U.S. Department of Justice has found that in some tribal communities, American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. Since 2005, there has been increased awareness of the pattern of the disappearance of Native women and the failure of the criminal justice system to adequately respond to the crisis. This webinar is designed to provide an overview and discussion of this crisis and the importance of increased public awareness. The Native Women’s Association of Canada will share lessons from its Sisters in Spirit awareness and organizing efforts. Terri Henry will share efforts and the importance of creating a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls in the United States.
DOWNLOAD: Urban Indian Healthy Institute’s “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: A Snapshot of data from 71 Urban Cities in the United States” is a report from Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), MA of Urban Indian Health Institute and Annita Lucchesi (Southern Cheyenne), of the MMIW Database. This study sought to assess why obtaining data on this violence is so difcult, how law enforcement agencies are tracking and responding to these cases, and how media is reporting on them. The study’s intention is to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the MMIWG crisis in urban American Indian and Alaska Native communities and the institutional practices that allow them to disappear not once, but three times—in life, in the media, and in the data.
LISTEN: Native America Calling’s Audio Interview “Justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women remains elusive.” (Nov. 29, 2018) A new analysis finds more than 500 cases of missing or murdered women and girls in the United States since 1943. The authors of the study from the Urban Indian Health Institute say that is likely far lower than the real number. They point to poor record-keeping, bad information- sharing between local and tribal law enforcement agencies, and institutional racism as the main barriers to getting the full picture. Any legislation at the federal level to help remedy the situation remains stalled. We’ll hear recommendations from the researchers and get updates from women’s advocates about this ongoing issue.
Sunday May 12th is Mother’s Day, watch NIWRC’s video “Happy Mother’s Day from the NIWRC.”