October 7, 2021
I heard a joke recently that the autumn and winter holidays are a bit treacherous for Indigenous communities. Last week, many of us stood in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives to the north for National Day of Truth & Reconciliation in canada. Yesterday, we acknowledge and mourn our swaths of Missing & Murdered Indigenous loved ones across Turtle Island (north america); While we mourn, we demand justice and that they be brought home with the same effort and investment as our non-native relatives. During the month of October, we build our knowledge around domestic violence and its adverse impacts in our Indigenous communities. The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center reminds us that Indigenous women face domestic violence at a rate 2.5x higher than any other group. It is our duty and responsibility to protect and respect Native women. In that same vein, next Monday we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day recognizing how far we’ve come in the face of settler-colonization, violence, and deep racism. Many of our Native communities finish the month, tense and apprehensive at the poor choice in racist costumes often used to celebrate halloween. Moving into November, we grit our teeth at the false narratives around land-theft but will inevitably, in the next breath, laugh together and share meals on what is now referred to as Thanksgiving.
You see, in our work at the Coalition, we also take on the role of ensuring you have a vast breadth and depth to your perspectives as advocates. The world is more than what dominant narratives dictate. Thanksgiving, for example, is an oversimplified, over commercialized holiday that is actually a celebration of violence and genocide enacted against Indigenous communities. While this whole reflection was catalyzed by our collective sardonic laughter in Native communities, it ends with the somber reality that we still face this violence in contemporary context.
Our call to you is to dig deep into your personal and community relationships with these holidays and for the duration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. What do you truly know about the Indigenous communities you serve or neighbor? Whose land do you occupy?
What can you do:
Lastly, do not woe. In our Indigenous communities, our grief is unwavering, yet so is our resilience and hope. This violence we are facing is old violence but it is not traditional, it is not our way, which means it doesn’t have to last forever, we do not have to perpetuate it, nor tolerate it in our communities. We know how to love and how to live in balance. We know how to care for one another. We know how to share abundance with one another. There is nothing we cannot overcome as long as we do it together. Hold each other in sincere prayer, hold yourselves with grace as well, and know that even though we have so much work to do, we have always had each other and always will.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
As preventionists, we stay ready with our curriculum to engage young people in discussions about what unhealthy relationships look like. This method is effective, but I think we can collectively do better:
Practice is more difficult than theory.
It’s helpful for young people to identify what an ideal, healthy relationship looks like. It does young people a disservice teaching them that there’s a perfect binary between healthy and unhealthy relationships. There are moments that even healthy relationships can experience momentary toxicity and conflict. Not all conflicts are resolved immediately; some take time to negotiate new boundaries, and sometimes we don’t immediately know how to resolve them.
Life is more complex than binaries–we need to equip young people with the knowledge of what a healthy relationship looks like and offer them tools to think critically about their relationships. For example, what does it mean for young people in relationships to move through conflict when their emotions are not well regulated? How are we teaching young people to manage their own emotions? Can young people model healthy coping mechanisms if they’ve never seen it be done?
When young people are offered ample examples of what healthy relationships can look like and feel like–we give them the best possible chance of becoming healthy adults. Our well-being as adults increases the chances of the young people in our lives’ ability to be in healthy relationships. When we (adults) are well and can provide safe spaces for young people to explore parts of their identities and their whole selves, young people can model us. It’s much easier to emulate healthy behaviors if it is shown to us at an early age.
A binary between healthy and unhealthy won’t do.
We need to think bigger.
When young people have all they need, they are less likely to turn to violence in their relationships. Domestic violence prevention is teen dating violence prevention.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
Watch the YouTube broadcast of the National Call for Unity 2021: No Survivor Justice without Racial Justice. Speakers included Acting Assistant Secretary Jooyeun Chang, Administration for Children & Families, Rosie Hidalgo, White House Gender Policy Council, Mildred Muhammad, My F.O.C.U.S., LLC, Jacqueline Miller, H.A.I.R., Lina Juarbe i Botella, A Call to Men, and Marci Taitt-Lamar, Leletha Marshall, Farzana Safiullah, Arlene Vassell all from NRCDV. Hosted by Ivonne Ortiz of NRCDV
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence’s Safe Housing Capacity Center Briefing
October 12, 2021| 1:00-4:00 ET
Commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence is presenting its annual Policy & Research Briefing on Tuesday, October 12th from 1:00 – 4:00 ET.
Organized on behalf of the Domestic Violence & Housing Technical Assistance Consortium, this year’s Briefing centers on the DVAM theme: No Survivor Justice without Racial Justice.
The Briefing will be closed-captioned with simultaneous ASL & Spanish-language interpretation. Other accessibility needs will be addressed upon request.
Next Steps Virtual Conference on Missing & Murdered Indigenous People
October 14, 2021
Our work continues. We’ve spent many years, sleepless nights, and countless hours working to end the Missing & Murdered Indigenous People crisis and we have so much more work to do. We’ve been to summits and conferences together, watched with hope when HCR-033 passed in March of 2020, and then we watched in horror as so many of our young ancestors’ remains were discovered at residential schools, yet another painful MMIP dynamic. We changed the way we work to end violence in our communities in the face of a dire pandemic. We learned to advocate policy, create awareness, and search for our loved ones despite insurmountable circumstances and virtually. We call on you to attend the Next Steps Virtual Conference on Missing & Murdered Indigenous People.” The Coeur d’Alene Tribe STOP Violence invites you to this working conference to move our collective vision forward. We are scholars, advocates, educators, law enforcement officers, attorneys, justices, and so much more. The sum of our collective efforts is the much needed pivot in our work to end violence. Register here! View draft agenda here.
Circulos/Conversations with Women of Color Advocates
October 14 & 21 2021| 2:00pm ET
This event is presented by National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and will be in English with Spanish and ASL interpretation.
Black and Brown advocates have been tired for a very long time. What would it look like to build a movement that truly supports Black and Brown women’s well-being and ability to bring their whole selves to this work? How can we foster true unity for Black and Brown advocates in the face of constant and ongoing disruption? What would it mean to build a movement that centers Black trans women? Collective liberation can only happen when Black women are at the center. Join these conversations to listen, learn from, and honor the lived experiences of women of color advocates. Register here!
Reminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.
Visit the online store to view current Idaho Coalition materials available for order. For store questions, please contact Amy York.