Current Issue

Lessons for 2019 from Past Reauthorizations of VAWA and FVPSA

Looking back at 2018, we leave behind a year of increased awareness of the far-reaching impact the spectrum of violence has on the lives of Native women, their families, communities, and Indian nations. Vigils, community searches, marches for justice, press conferences, and demands upon federal agencies and Congressional leadership to respond to the crisis of...

Native American Women Win Congressional and State Elections

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) congratulates the Native American Women candidates who won their Congressional and State elections during this past November! Two Native Women made history with their wins as the first Native American women elected to Congress. Congratulations Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation) elected to the United States House of Representatives (KS-3rd...

Pouhana ‘O Na Wahine News 2019 Organizing for Change

Native Hawaiian women represent the highest percentage of victims of domestic and sexual violence within the state of Hawaii. The Pouhana ‘O Na Wahine (Pillars of Women), a collective of Native Hawaiian women, is focused on determining how to change this unacceptable reality. The hui understands that relying solely on non-indigenous responses to domestic and...

StrongHearts Native Helpline Establishes First Call Center Headquarters in Minneapolis Saint-Paul Metro Region Ahead of Second Anniversary

Native-centered domestic violence helpline offering culturally-based support for victims in Indian Country and Alaska sets sights on Eagan, Minnesota This winter, staff of the StrongHearts Native Helpline, a partnered project of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, packed their bags and made the move from Austin, Texas, to their...

StrongHearts’ Lori Jump Receives Bonnie Heavy Runner Victim Advocacy Award

On December 7, 2018, Assistant Director of the StrongHearts Native Helpline Lori Jump was recognized for her lifetime service to victims and survivors of crime in Indian Country during the closing ceremony of the 16th Annual Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime in Palm Springs, California. Jump was awarded the Bonnie Heavy Runner...

Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans U.S. Commission on Civil Rights New Report

December 20, 2018, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released its report, Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans. The Commission majority found that the federal government is not meeting its trust responsibilities and that budgets and spending of federal agencies sponsoring Native American and Native Hawaiian programs, including the Departments of Health...

Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act in 2019 Support VAWA by Organizing Locally, Regionally and Nationally

Now is the time for all those concerned about the safety of Native women and all other victims of domestic, sexual, and other crimes to organize at the tribal, local, regional, and national levels. Congress failed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2018. Instead, Congress voted to pass a series of continuing...

Reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention Service Act Tribal Support for FVPSA is Needed Now

FVPSA supports more than 200 tribal programs based on an annual set-aside for Indian tribes. These funds are used to support emergency shelter, crisis hotlines, counseling services, victim assistance initiatives, and other supportive services. With funding under FVPSA, many tribal programs have developed lifesaving services for victims of domestic violence. Without FVPSA funds these services...

A New Challenge for the 2019 FVPSA Reauthorization: Make the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center Permanent

In 2017, Congress recognized the crisis facing Alaska Native women as a national priority by appropriating $1 million to establish an Alaska Native Tribal Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Alaska tribal leaders and advocates are calling upon Congress to make the Resource Center permanent by including it under the 2019 reauthorization of the Family Violence...

International Update

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights On October 5, 2018, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Indian Law Resource Center, National Congress of American Indians, and National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center organized a thematic hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to address the extreme levels of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. The...

Supreme Court Update

In November and December, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in two cases that could have significant impacts on safety for Native women and children. The NIWRC filed amicus briefs in both. Carpenter v. Murphy In late September, the NIWRC, along with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Eastern Band...

NIWRC Amicus Briefs

Past reauthorizations of VAWA (2000, 2005 and 2013) opened the door to many lifesaving provisions for Native women. “Unfortunately, there are those who have and will continue to challenge these provisions,” said Carmen O’Leary, NIWRC Vice Chair. “In 2008, the Plains Commerce Bank case challenged the civil jurisdiction of our tribe over a non-Indian bank....

Connections: Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence – Views from a Long Time Advocate, Gwendolyn Packard

It seems a few questions always come up when people are talking about violence against Native women, and typically these questions include the connection between substance abuse and domestic violence. Gwen Packard, NIWRC staff member, has worked for more than two decades advocating for Native women and based on her experience shares her thoughts on...

MMIW and the Need for Preventative Reform

MMIW has received a considerable uptick in interest from mainstream media, the general public and from both Senate and House Representatives in both state and national legislatures. That this issue has been the recipient of new focus and attention, particularly in D.C., is a testament to the families, grassroots advocates, tribes, tribal coalitions, and other...

Missing and Murdered: Confronting the Silent Crisis in Indian Country, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing

On December 12, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) held its last Congressional oversight hearing of 2018 to hear testimony from multiple federal agencies on how they are working to better handle cases of missing and murdered individuals. The Committee also heard testimony from Indian tribes and family members of missing Native women concerning...