Domestic Violence Awareness Month Activities in Native American/ Alaska Native Communities Information compiled by Sacred Circle and IHS programs
Family Violence Prevention & Services Act Program Marylouise Kelley, Ph.D Division Director Phone: (202) 401-5756 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Shena Williams Program Specialist Phone: (202) 205-5932 Email: email@example.com 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW Portals One Building, Room 800 Washington, DC 20024
Sacred Spirits First Nations Coalition, Office on Violence Against Women Raise the awareness of the lethality of domestic violence in our community. The Silent Witness are that of our women from the White Earth Ojibwe reservation who were murdered due to domestic violence. To remember who our fallen sisters are, who took their lives in such a violent way, why it was done. To learn how they as a community can create change within their homes and in their lives which will create safety for our women and children. One of our Silent Witness we have on display at IHS is that of our fallen sister, Susie Keezer who was stabbed 274 times to death in her home. The family of the murderer of Susie complained to the director of IHS about Susie’s silhouette being displayed and that it needs to be taken down even though we had the permission of the family to do so. I told IHS that I have gone to every family of every Silent Witness we have and asked permission to make a Silent Witness of their mother, daughter, grand daughter, niece and grandmother. I passed tobacco to everyone’s family and invited them to the Wiping of the Tears Ceremony we held in honor of our first Silent Witness event. It is good this murderer’s family feel uncomfortable and are reminded what their family member did to another within our Tribe and that they took a woman who gives life to our Nation away from the Tribe and the future generations to come. It is important that they feel the impact of what their family member did and remember the pain and loss of the family in which she was stolen from and that domestic violence is lethal and can be changed within their home and community. Be mindful of restrictions placed on events, especially in Tribal Communities. Food is important in any gathering, we share a feast that honors those that pass and it should not have to be described in detail to explain why food is necessary. Respect the need to purchase tobacco and other gift items that may be used to offer tobacco to Elders and the Spirits and gifts to them as it is a ceremonial practice and custom. We should not have to explain such purposes in detail nor should it be considered a religious event because this is a ceremonial and traditional practice of the First Nations People here. Our customs and beliefs need to be respected and honored. We just need a little less restrictions to address the issues of domestic violence in our own way - what suites our tribal people in our own language and traditional beliefs and customs. Miigwech! (Thank you)
Santee Sioux Tribe, Nebraska CREATING COMMUNITY AWARENESS Advocacy Training at Program Level Teen Dating Violence – Speakers engaged youth at the local high school. Boys and Girls were addressed separately. Domestic Violence Awareness Walk – The community joined to walk create awareness on the impact of DV in their community and families. The participants wore purple t-shirts and carried signs during the event. Balloons were released at the end of the event.
25th Annual HeSapaWacipi, Black Hills Pow Wow Rapid City, South Dakota PROMOTING REGIONAL AWARENESS The Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains (NWSGP) provided an information booth to share information on the membership of NWSGP and specifically about domestic violence and sexual assault. It was also an opportunity for NWSGP to receive information (by way of survey) from the participants on how to enhance future training and awareness activities. The South Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence coordinated a silent witnesses activity during the Pow Wow. The Black Hills Pow Wow was attended by tribal members from across the region. .
Bismark, North Dakota PROMOTING NATIONAL AWARENESS 41st Annual United Tribes International Pow Wow This Pow Wow is held annually in the Lone Star Arena at United Tribes Technical College. It attracts members from 70 tribes with several thousand spectators during the grand entry. The grand entry even with the silent awareness speaker, Jim Clairmont, addressed the impact of domestic violence in tribal communities. The use of the Silent Witnesses at major celebrations and Pow Wow events is a recent approach to increasing awareness about domestic violence. It can be used as a demonstration of community awareness to eradicating violence in Indian Country. Women carried Silent Witness through Saturday’s Grand Entry. Pow Wow announcer Jim Clairmont addressed the need to stop domestic violence.
Fort Peck Family Violence Prevention & Resource Center Wolf Point, MontanaTRIBAL PROGRAM & COMMUNITY TRAINING Advocacy/ Roots of Domestic Violence/ Public Awareness/ Planning with Community Members, Social Services, and Law Enforcement/ Tribal Program Collaboration and Planning Fort Peck Family Violence Prevention & Resource Center partnered with Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains during DVAM to educate community stakeholders , law enforcement and tribal programs on the impact of domestic violence in their community. The training sessions were also used equip service providers with basic domestic violence and sexual assault skills. The local newspaper helped promote domestic violence awareness by publishing the events.
NATIVE WOMEN’S SOCIETY OF THE GREAT PLAINS Men’s Domestic Violence Education Planning WicaAgli (Brings Back Men) Meeting of Men from Northern Plains Tribes, todiscuss & plan the implementation of a Native American culture based Domestic Violence Curriculum. Barriers: No available funding source. Ways to help: Prioritize funding for this work that doesn’t take away from Direct Services Money.
White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc.Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Mission, SD Domestic Violence Awareness Walks During the month of October, White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) held walks in three different communities on the reservation and one in a neighboring town. Our first walk started at Rosebud IHS with follow up stops at the tribal law enforcement and tribal courts, a cemetery where a victim of DV was buried and ending at the Tribal Council offices. Representatives for the agencies we stop at speak to participants about the impact of domestic violence on the work they do. At the Tribal Council offices, an official proclamation declaring Oct. Domestic Violence Month on the reservation was read and signed, balloons were released and a fantastic meal of buffalo soup, fry bread and cake was shared. Our Goals are primarily to demonstrate to victims and their families that they are not alone. A secondary goal is to renew conversation in our communities and among community leaders about the harms caused by domestic violence – especially to children being victimized by violence in their homes. Our theme this year, “Everyone is someone’s relative. No one wants to be someone’s victim” strives to remind us of our relationships and to act if you know of someone being abused. FVPSA and other Federal Agencies can best assist by continuing and increasing funding for tribal law enforcement, tribal courts, Indian health services and shelters. Law enforcement and the courts in particular are critical to protecting families and lives.
Indian Health Services Rose Weahkee, Ph.D Director, Division of Behavioral Health 301-443-2038 Email: Rose.Weahkee@ihs.gov Jennifer Downs, LCSW Public Health Advisor 301-443-6374 Email: Jennifer.Downs@ihs.gov 801 Thompson Avenue, Suite 300 Rockville, MD 20852
Help-In-CrisisCherokee Nation, National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center SANE/SART Expansion Grant Silent Witnesses Silhouettes Silhouettes representing victims in Oklahoma and their stories, will be placed at various places in Tahlequah, Sallisaw and Wagoner creating a display to help our community’s awareness of DV. Mayor Jason Nichols proclaims the month of October to be "Domestic Violence Awareness Month“
Eight Northern Indian Pueblos CouncilCircle of Life & PeaceKeepers Programs 2011 Domestic Violence Summit and Walk /Run Against Domestic Violence GOAL Bring awareness to the growing issue and problem of domestic violence in our Pueblo communities Resources available to combat the concerns
The NATIVE Project/NATIVE Health of Spokane Domestic Violence Awareness Dinner GOAL Bring awareness to the impact DV has on our community especially the women and children Empowering the men to become the leaders in ending domestic violence Government Entities We appreciate the efforts of government entities calling to attention the issue of DV
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic Billboard media campaign Outreach materials Curriculum for DVPI adolescent mentoring program Updated screening forms Provided DV Screening Training Published DV and Bullying articles Goal Create mass DV prevention awareness throughout Oklahoma City
Choctaw Nation Voices for SurvivorsUnited Voice, United Action, & Project Holitopa Community Health Representative Fall Festival GOAL Connect with our elder community to increase awareness of DV Introduce elders to the Voices for Survivors Program & staff Increase program visibility and raise awareness OUTCOMES Large crowd Limited one-on-one conversation Went out into the crowd to hand out our fans to seated individuals and talked to the elders.
United Indian Health Services Continue the Tradition of Kindness DV Awareness T-Shirts Survey Questionnaire Contract GOAL Increase awareness and education to community members. OUTCOME Ordered over 800 t-shirts and came in all day on Friday’s to participate Increased awareness CHALLENGES Some community members disagreed with portions of the questionnaire. However after explanation, they showed understanding.
Micmac Service Unit/ Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative Deborah Roshon & Sandra Pictou (Not pictured - Tania Morey) Victim Advocacy Training September – October 2011 Goal Train staff and community members as Victim Advocates Challenges Difficulty engaging community members
South Dakota Urban Indian HealthSioux Falls ~ Pierre ~ Aberdeen Domestic Violence Is NOT a Lakota Tradition DV Awareness Activities Take Back the Night Silent Witnesses & Empty Shawls Purple Ribbons All Staff Retreat Listen to the Grandmothers viewing Goal Heighten awareness about domestic violence and give hope to victims of DV
Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association “Influence the Difference” Public Service Announcements Goals To educate community members about DV Awareness & community resources Outcome in the Community Suicide Prevention Youth Coalition participated Raised awareness throughout the month of October How Federal agencies can help Teleconferences offering assistance in community outreach and event planning
Quileute Tribe New Beginnings Love is Not Abuse Community Awareness Walk Goals Support and honor victims and survivors of DV Increase awareness Kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities Outcome Increased community awareness and participation in DV Awareness Month activities Sparked community discussions on domestic violence Provided survivors/victims with a feeling of hope and support Challenges Cold and rainy weather reduces the number of participants Next year: “Purple Car Parade” in order to increase participation and visibility
32nd Annual Women Take Back the Night March and Rally Theme: Planting the Seeds of Change Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc. Goals Educate and activate the community Link community with resources Outcome: Success Huge crowd Survivor Speakout was instrumental in voicing first hand experiences of triumph and inspired the crowd to action The resource fair allowed attendees to make contact with assistance groups March spurred diverse crowd of people to march in unison, pledging their support of respect to women
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/tribal/index.html - The Administrative on Children and Families website provides program specific information, useful links, and a current calendar of tribal focused events. www.niwrc.org – The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. http://dvpi.red-wind.net/ - The Domestic Violence Prevention initative website provides program information as well as useful links and materials ACF & IHS Native American/ Alaska Native Programs