2019 Spring-From the Executive Director

Feb. 11, 2019, NIWRC visit with Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) who expressed that NIWRC priorities to end violence against Indian women were her priorities. From left to right – Lori Jump (StrongHearts Native Helpline), Wendy Schlater (NIWRC Board), Paula Julian (NIWRC Staff), Leanne Guy (NIWRC Board), Carmen O’Leary (NIWRC Board), Cherrah Giles (NIWRC Board), Lucy Simpson (ED for NIWRC), and Deborah Parker (NIWRC Board).

We at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center welcome the spring months coming up and celebrate this time of renewal and growth. While we released a statement in January about not receiving any distribution royalties from the feature film “Wind River”, we remain ever committed to the work for safety for Native women and their children. Even during these winter months, we have seen thousands of Native women take to the streets during national and local women’s marches, raising awareness of violence against women and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. This past February, NIWRC Board of Directors and policy staff members were able to attend the NCAI Winter Session and visit with tribal and national leadership. We congratulated the Native American Women candidates who won their Congressional and State elections on this past November 6th election! In our interactions with these leaders, they expressed their commitment to helping raise awareness of the ongoing crisis of violence against Native women and working to create real change.  They inspire a new generation of Native women and girls to become leaders in government and change-makers in their communities and in the world in which we live.

In this 2019 Spring edition of Advocate! Beyond the Shelter Doors e-newsletter, you will find: a warm welcome to new staff, congratulations to our Board Treasurer Wendy Schlater, Spring Awareness Months resources coming up, an update on extended operating hours from the StrongHearts Native Helpline, guest post from Cindy Martin of the NIWRC Speaker’s Bureau, highlights from NCAI Violence Against Women Task Force Meeting, and posts on the MMIW Database moving to Sovereign Bodies Institute and part 1 of the Pixel Project inspirational interview with NIWRC’s Caroline LaPorte.

In the Featured Art section, we share the “Warrior Women” documentary, streaming now on PBS World channel, by filmmakers Christina King (Seminole) and Elizabeth Castle. “Warrior Women” is the story of mothers and daughters fighting for indigenous rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s. The film unveils not only a female perspective of history, but also examines the impact political struggles have on the children who bear witness. 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, and all the men who continue to support the movement to end domestic violence and for making NIWRC the valuable organization it is today.

Lucy Rain Simpson
Executive Director, NIWRC