Third Meeting of the Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women

The Trilateral Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls met for the third time in Mexico City, October 2–3.

October 2, 2018, Mexico City—Members of the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Tri-Lateral Working Group on Violence Against Women (left to right) Sherriann Moore, Deputy Director for Tribal Affairs, USDOJ OVW; Leanne Guy, Executive Director, Southwest Indigenous Women’s Coalition; Nicole Matthews, Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition; and Jonel Beauvais, Cultural Community Outreach Worker, Seven Dancers Coalition.

This year’s meeting focused on three themes: youth, entrepreneurship, and missing and murdered indigenous women. The Trilateral Working Group’s meetings are intended to provide governments and indigenous peoples the opportunity to engage in dialogue and, according to the U.S. government, to share knowledge on country-level and regional best practices, as well as solution-oriented lessons learned, to address the high rates of violence impacting indigenous women and girls across the North American continent.

This third meeting built upon the Working Group’s second meeting in Ottawa, Canada, in November 2017 and its inaugural meeting, which was held at the White House in October 2016. At these two previous meetings, leadership from the Governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States engaged in dialogue and shared knowledge on country-level and regional best practices, as well as solution-oriented lessons learned, to address the high rates of violence impacting indigenous women and girls across the North American continent.

Following the 2017 meeting, each country made a commitment to continue to invite indigenous advocates and experts to participate in subsequent meetings of the Working Group. As such, each country delegation at the third Working Group meeting comprised a combination of indigenous representatives and government officials. It created the opportunity for Native advocates in the United States to directly connect with indigenous advocates from Mexico and Canada, as well as to provide expert testimony to government representatives from all three countries concerning barriers to and promising practices for effectively working with Tribal communities on criminal justice responses to violence against indigenous women and girls.

Native women attended the meeting in their capacity as advocates, community leaders, and technical experts on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking affecting American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls. The U.S. Delegation also included representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the State Department.

Information about the previous session, in November 2017, is available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/readout-associate-attorney-general-rachel-brand-trip-ottawa-canada-trilateral-summit-violence.

Pictured left to right Michelle Demmert, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center; Jonel Beauvais, Seven Dancers Coalition; Katie Sullivan, Acting Director USDOJ OVW; Leanne Guy, Southwest Indigenous Women’s Coalition; Karen Diver; Nicole Matthews, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition; and, Sherriann Moore, Deputy Director for Tribal Affairs, USDOJ OVW.