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Promising Practices Continue to Expand Among Tribal Communities

Nicole Matthews, MIWSAC Executive Director, and Ingrid Anderson, National Policy Director for MIWSAC, attended the National Congress of American Indians Winter Executive Session in Washington, D.C. in mid-February. We were honored to gather with so many relatives, federal representatives, movement leaders, and those who paved the way for us to even have space to convene and discuss the most pressing issues in Indian Country. 

We attended the Violence Against Women Task Force meeting, hosted by Dr. Juana Majel Dixon and Shannon Holsey. We heard from the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), Rosie Hidalgo. She encouraged and inspired us to reflect on 30 years of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), while reminding us to stay focused on the work at hand. We are all working toward a future free from violence, and we are honored to work alongside so many of you. 

We were excited to hear about promising practices expanding among tribal communities: implementing traditional restorative practices in criminal cases, enhancing behavioral health access for Native survivors of violence, expanding services for Native adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, expanding sustainable sources of funding for tribal programs serving victims of sexual violence, and of course, expanding funding and technical assistance for grantees of all of these resources. 

We ended our full day with a reception hosted by the National Indian Women’s Resource Center to recognize and honor the twenty year anniversary of Restoration Magazine. We honor and recognize the years of hard work and dedication to the movement as seen in the lives of speakers Carmen O’Learytai simpsonNicole Matthews, and of course, Secretary of the Department of the Interior Deb Haaland.

As a national technical assistance provider, the National Tribal Sexual Assault Resource Center is eager to continue conversation with all of you about these issue, and the most pressing issues facing your own communities. We want to support your access to funding opportunities, we want to help you develop exciting and expansive program deliverables to best expend the federal funds you receive, and we want to lock arms with you as we walk toward a future where our relatives are safe and free from violence. We look forward to 2024 as a year of action to end sexual violence!

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