NIWRC Welcomes New Staff & Congratulates Board Member!

Congratulations Wendy Schlater!

Congrats to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s Board Treasurer, Wendy Schlater, on being sworn in, Sunday March 3rd, as the new Vice-Chairwoman of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians! Read Wendy Schlater’s profile.

Welcome Brenda Hill and Kendra Root!

Brenda Hill joins NIWRC as the new Director of Technical Assistance & Training! Brenda Hill (Siksika) has been an advocate for ending violence against Native women and their children for over 30 years. Her work creating social change through advocacy that confronts the root causes of violence/ oppression, and women-centered, inclusive, trauma-informed approaches, is based upon a grass roots, proactive, culturally-base perspective. Making connections and relationship building are central to her philosophy.

Before coming to NIWRC, Brenda was an independent consultant/ trainer, following her position as the Native Co-Director for the South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence (SDCEDSV).  Prior to that position, Brenda was the Education Coordinator for Sacred Circle, National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women for over 11 years. Her work includes the development of culturally-based educational materials, creating and facilitating trainings, technical assistance and consultation to tribal programs, coalitions and allies. She is a founding mother & former Director of the Women’s Circle Shelter Program on the Lake Traverse Reservation. She was also faculty for the Sisseton‑Wahpeton Community College where she developed and taught courses for a chemical dependency degree program.

Brenda earned a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. and certificate in alcohol and drug studies from the University of South Dakota, but attributes her expertise in the area of advocacy to the many grassroots women who have honored her with their stories and trust in her as an advocate, her personal experience as a survivor, and her relationships with grass root advocates.

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Kendra Root serves as the Program Assistant for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation she was raised in the heart of Creek Country, Bristow, Oklahoma. Her family’s roots are strong in Bristow, as her families have ties going back five generations on her paternal side and five generations on her maternal side. She is a decent from the Euchee/Creek Snow family of the Polecat Stomp ground region.

In 2011, she received Volunteer of the Year from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Mvskoke Women’s Leadership Initiative. The Initiative recognized her efforts and continuing volunteerism in numerous Muscogee (Creek) Nation tribal and communal events. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science and a Master of Arts degree in Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. Her undergraduate research work focused on; Native Americans and Diabetes. As a master’s student, her research focused on; Congressional Native American Policy as it relates to Native American Health and Wellness. She has a passion and love for research, learning and reading books pertaining to history, policies, traditional and cultural ways, understanding, serving, and advocating to increase the health and wellness for all Native communities.

She has worked in Indian Country for a number of years in different capacities; from working for a native owned law firm, specializing to maintain sovereignty for many Oklahoma Tribal governments, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Department of Justice, and a small native owned federal contracting company. She continues to serve in her position in a support role, to advocate and fight for sovereignty and health and wellness for many Native American families throughout Indian Country.

Kendra is active and participates in many of her own tribal ceremonial and cultural activities as well as the Plains Tribes traditional ways with her daughter and husband, as they are citizens of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. In her spare time, she loves to sew and craft, exercise, be outside, garden, cook, watch the humming birds in the spring and summer and most of all, spending time with her family.

Her mother taught her to be a strong native woman and empower other women and continues this teaching with her daughter. Her step-father encourages her to continue her walk in two worlds with one spirit daily.