U.S. Chamber launches Native American Enterprise Initiative

New advocacy initiative will promote interests and agenda of tribes and tribal entrepreneurs

Press Release, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, www.uschamber.com

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today launched the Native American Enterprise Initiative (NAEI) to promote the interests and agenda of tribes and tribal entrepreneurs across the country. The NAEI will work with tribes and businesses to highlight opportunities for economic growth and networking for Native American enterprises, as well as promote foreign direct investment on tribal lands and pursue an aggressive advocacy agenda before Congress and the administration in coordination with other Native American advocacy organizations.

“Tribes and tribal enterprises across the country face a unique set of economic opportunities and challenges as entrepreneurship and economic diversification in Indian Country continues to grow,” said Rolf Lundberg, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Congressional and Public Affairs.  “The U.S. Chamber is launching NAEI to help boost economic growth and job creation by identifying opportunities and advocating for the policies that will help tribes and tribal entrepreneurs succeed. Drawing on the Chamber’s longstanding track record of successful business advocacy, NAEI will provide value to Indian Country by working to remove legislative and regulatory road blocks to their economic success.”

The issues that NAEI’s advocacy will focus include taxation, energy development, trade and economic development, and promoting a sensible regulatory policy. NAEI’s Leadership Council, composed of major tribes and tribal enterprises, will serve as the governing body of the initiative and will further develop policy priorities.

More information is available at http://www.uschamber.com/naei

Tulalip’s larger annual donation to expand “Food for Thought” program

By Monica Brown, Tulalip Communications Department

Marysville Community Food Bank received a larger donation this year from The Tulalip Tribes. The $20,000 donation will benefit many people during these holiday seasons. Steve Gobin agreed,

“This is a larger than normal donation for us, but we understand that there’s a growing need in this community, the homeless population is growing every day. We’d like to help the citizens of Marysville who have been such big contributors to our own economic enterprises, and the most effective way of doing that is to help those in need stay alive, and to help their kids stay healthy.”

With a regular annual donation of $15,000 to the Marysville Community Food Bank, the extra $5,000 will contribute to the “Food for Thought” program, which began in May of 2012, to expand to three schools. As quoted in the Marysville Globe, Amy Howell, coordinator of the “Food for Thought” program, describes how the additional monies will benefit students at Liberty, Shoultes and Quil Ceda Elementary Schools

Amy Howell explains the process of how a child is included into the program, “They (the children) were chosen through input from their teachers, counselors, principal and lunchroom staff; their families sign permission slips to approve them for the program, and nobody above the school level knows which students they are, aside from the ones that I’ve met with personally, so nobody feels like they’re being singled out.”

With the impending addition of students from Shoultes and Quil Ceda, 25 from each school and 30 students from Liberty who are already served by the program, Howell has already met her enrollment goal for the spring of 2013, and is eager to serve more students who would otherwise go hungry between the close of school one day and the opening of school the next day. The “Food for Thought” program helps to relieve childhood hunger by providing nutritious weekend meals to students during the school year.

Marysville Community Food Bank Director Dell Deierling, as quoted from the Marysville Globe, explained that the regular donation of $15,000 will go towards “filling in the gaps” of needed food items and utility payments for the winter holiday season, from Thanksgiving through Christmas and the New Year.

“The community has done an awesome job of keeping donations coming,” Deierling said. “The Tulalip Tribes have been our biggest donors since our current building was built.”

Quil Ceda Village General Manager Steve Gobin credited both the Marysville and Tulalip communities with placing a shared value on the importance of charitable giving.

Donations may be made out to Marysville Community Food Bank and sent to P.O. Box 917, Marysville, WA 98270. If you would like to designate your funds specifically for “Food For Thought,” please write in the memo line of your check the program you wish to support. Donations may also be made online at http://marysvillefoodbank.org via PayPal.

 

 

 

Indian Education meeting brings in large crowd

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montreuil

Tulalip & Quil Ceda Elementary Co-Principal Dr. Anthony Craig present information regarding state reading ratings

TULALIP, Washington- A community meeting held on Tuesday, November 27th, drew a diverse crowd of educators, advocates and parents. In the spotlight was Indian Education, where information about services and programs to help students on their academic journeys was presented, including how incorporating local culture into schools is producing a greater learning environment.

Currently the Marysville School District has 1,241 registered Native students in the entire district; 831 are Tulalip Tribal members, with a high concentration registered in schools near or located in Tulalip.  To support students, Marysville School District Indian Education Department provides, with funding from the Johnson O’Malley grant, Native American Liaisons throughout each school in the district. A breakdown of each grade level determines the support services each liaison will focus on, such as graduation and credit retrieval for high school students.

Through a partnership with Tulalip Tribes education departments, like Youth Services, issues such as cultural awareness, mentoring, and tutoring are being addressed for Native students. The goal is to provide an environment where Native students feel safe and comfortable to learn without fear of displaying their cultural values, something that has been a struggle throughout the district’s history.

Through this unique partnership great strides are being made to break down barriers and nowhere is it more evident than at Tulalip & Quil Ceda Elementary, where an approach to school life has completely changed the structure of the school. Last year the two schools merged, creating a cross cultural domino effect in students who struggled to find their place in the new school.

“We are striving to have a school where every student feels safe. We had to re-imagine what school could be and a part of that is realizing that culture is just as important as academics,” said co-principal at Tulalip & Quil Ceda Elementary, Dr. Anthony Craig.

Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, Director of Cultural Competency, Learning Improvement and Tulalip Community Development, explained the idea is to not mold the student to fit the school, but to mold the school to fit the needs of the students.

“A lot of times we were asking students to adapt to us not the schools adapting to them, that is what we are tackling head on,” said Dr. Fryberg.

To add support to educators, Tulalip Tribes Youth Services offers a variety of activities that engage students in positive cultural behavior that focus on academics and attendance to create positive conduct. One of the biggest aids in their program is mentoring and tutoring, which provides one-on-one time with

In attendance during the meeting was President of the Marysville School District President Chris Nation

students who may be struggling.

“We cherish the relationship that we have with the Marysville School District. We work really hard with the families in providing cultural activities,” said Tulalip Tribes Education School Advocate, Tony Hatch.

Parents in attendance expressed concerns about bullying and looked to Marysville School Board members who were in attendance for answers. Anti-bullying campaigns have been introduced into Tulalip & Quil Ceda Elementary and Totem Middle School, such as RAD Kids, that equips kids with the power to say no, along with teaching them to recognize bullying. Although Marysville School District maintains a zero tolerance policy towards bullying, confusing court language makes implementing a zero tolerance policy a tangle of rules for educators.

Staff at Tulalip Tribes Youth Services are riding buses with kids in the morning as a deterrent to bullying. They are also looking to have Tulalip Heritage High School students volunteer as mentors and ride afternoon buses.

“We value the partnerships we have, and the place where we are at. We all work together to help the students,” said Indian Education Manager, Chrissy Dulik-Dalos.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-716-4189; bmontreuil@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Tracie Stevens is making history as first NIGC Native American Chairwoman

Article by Brandi N. Montreuil, photo provided by Mike Sarich

Tulalip, Washington- As the first Native American Chairwoman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), Tracie Stevens, a Tulalip tribal member, has had to tackle tough issues facing the gaming industry. Appointed in June 2010, her term began on the tail spin of the Class II regulations debate that posed to change the face of Indian Gaming forever, leaving her to mend the agency’s relationship with tribes across the nation. But looking back at her career history, you can say she was molded for such a task.

Tracie began her career in the gaming industry in 1995 with a position in human resources at the Tulalip Quil Ceda Creek Casino, before it was locally known as the little casino. As part of her job duties, Tracie was responsible for employee recruitment and training, operations planning and analysis, and later took a position as the executive director for strategic planning in 2001.

In 2003, she diversified her skills with a position as a legislative policy analyst with the Tulalip Tribes Government Affairs office. She represented her tribe in negotiations to update gambling compacts between Washington State and all federally recognized tribes located in Washington.

She tackled controversial topics with state lawmakers such as a measure that she lobbied in 2005 to allow the Tulalip Tribes to retain millions in sales tax revenue collected at Quil Ceda Village. When the bill did not pass, Tracie was not deterred, but continued to represent her tribe in sovereignty issues.

During her position as a policy analyst, Tracie also served as chair of the Gaming Committee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, as secretary of the Board of Directors for the Washington Indian Gaming Association, and as the northwest delegate for the National Indian Gaming Association.

Despite her massive responsibilities with various organizations, Tracie was able to accomplish a personal goal, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social science from the University of Washington, after taking years of night classes.

In July 2009, Tracie became senior advisor to Larry Echohawk, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of Interior, when she accepted her first position in the Obama Administration. This position relied on her previous years as a policy analyst to provide policy guidance on tribal issues, including tribal consultation, law enforcement, tribal government disputes, treaty and natural resource rights, economic development, budget priorities, land-into-trust, energy, and gaming.

As chairwoman of the NIGC, Tracie has focused on improving relations between tribes and the NIGC, which previously were strained due to proposals that would eliminate current Class II gaming standards for the tribal community, putting tribally funded programs at risk and creating a huge cost for tribes to change machines that would meet the new requirements.

Tracie also focused on four other major goals: review and improve consultation and relationship building, training and technical assistance, regulations, and agency operations.

Changes in consultation processes gave tribes and the public a better opportunity to discuss concerns over proposed initiatives before NIGC implemented changes. Training was redesigned to offer courses that matched the needs of the gaming industry, resulting in an increase of requested training. Communication between regional staff, tribal gaming operations and regulatory bodies has also benefited from new technical assistance changes.

In 2011, the gross gaming revenue reported $27.2 billion that represented 237 tribes with 421 operations. This was a 3 percent increase from gross gaming revenue reported in 2010. Tracie was reported saying, these figures represent moderate operations under $25 million gross gaming revenue, and for many tribes gross gaming revenue is a way to maintain a source of employment in their community.

Tracie’s term as chairwoman of the NIGC will expire mid-2013 the possiblity of reappointment. If she is re-elected, her administration will see the end of the five-year grandfather period implemented in 2008 that allowed existing Class II gaming systems to make the necessary equipment changes to meet several new Class II requirements. Her administration could also potentially see the introduction of legal online gambling and the spread of commercial casinos – a concern some tribal leaders feel conflicts with their self-governance to preserve their communities economy.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-716-4189; bmontreuil@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Culture focused curriculum available now

By Monica Brown, Tulalip Tribes Communications Dept. 

Recently, at White Swan High School in White Swan, WA within the Mt. Adams School District, a tribal sovereignty class has been implemented. The tribal-focused online curriculum called ‘Since Time Immemorial’ (STI), is the result of tribes and educators working together. The new curriculum covers the history, culture and governments of tribes across the country. Depending on the school, an emphasis can be placed on teaching about the nearest tribe. The curriculum was designed to be used in elementary, middle and high schools, and to satisfy social studies credit requirements.

The curriculum, which has been adopted by the State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, is open to all students and is not only designed to teach members of Washington’s 29 federally recognized tribes about their own history, government and culture, but also to educate non-Indians about tribal communities.

In 2004 Rep. John McCoy had introduced a bill in the state legislature, which was signed into law in 2005 by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The bill would require public school districts to teach tribal history and culture. After years of tribes and educators working together, the STI curriculum came about and covers the treaties Northwestern tribes signed with the U.S. Government, and how their traditional hunting, fishing and food gathering rights in their original territories were reserved. McCoy’s intention is for this to be widely utilized in schools, and he was quoted in The Native American Legal Update saying,

“This is to get everyone to understand that because these treaties were signed, they are the law of the land,” he said. “And consequently, tribes are sovereign nations. There are so many people that don’t understand that.”

With the Mt. Adams School District introducing the online curriculum, the nearby Wapato School District, where Native Americans account for almost 20 percent of the students, teachers have been sent to STI training.

STI encourages educators to use this new curriculum and share it with others. They express that the curriculum is easy to use and free on their website. Training videos and documents are also made available through the website. STI curriculum information can be found at www.indian-ed.org.

Salazar Finalizes Reforms to Streamline Leasing, Spur Economic Development on 56 Million Acres of American Indian Trust Land

Rule removes roadblocks to residential, commercial, renewable energy development; restores greater leasing control to tribal governments

 Press release, November  27, 2012, Blake Androff. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, www.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to empower tribal nations and strengthen their economies, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced final regulations that will streamline the leasing approval process on Indian land, spurring increased homeownership, and expediting business and commercial development, including renewable energy projects.

The comprehensive reform, informed by nation-to-nation tribal consultations and public comment, overhauls antiquated regulations governing the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ process for approving the surface leases on lands the federal government holds in trust for Indian tribes and individuals. As trustee, Interior manages about 56 million surface acres in Indian Country.

“This reform will expand opportunities for individual landowners and tribal governments to generate investment and create jobs in their communities by bringing greater transparency and workability to the Bureau of Indian Affairs leasing process,” Secretary Salazar said. “This final step caps the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years and will have a lasting impact on individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business on Indian land.”

“This reform is about supporting self-determination for Indian Nations and was developed in close consultation with tribal leaders,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn.             “The streamlined, commonsense rule replaces a process ill-suited for economic development of Indian lands and provides flexibility and certainty to tribal communities and individuals regarding decisions on the use of their land.”

The new rule complements and helps to implement the recently-passed Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH Act), which allows federally recognized tribes to assume greater control of leasing on tribal lands. The HEARTH Act was signed into law by President Obama on July 30, 2012.

Previous BIA regulations, established in 1961, are outdated and unworkable in today’s economy. They lacked a defined process or deadlines for review, which resulted in simple mortgage applications often languishing for several years awaiting approval from the federal government. These types of delays have been significant obstacles to homeownership and economic development on tribal lands.

The new regulation, effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, will fundamentally change the way the BIA does business, in many ways by minimizing BIA’s role and restoring greater control to tribal governments. The final rule provides clarity by identifying specific processes – with enforceable timelines – through which the BIA must review leases.

The regulation also establishes separate, simplified processes for residential, business, and renewable energy development, rather than using a “one-size fits all” approach that treats a lease for a single family home the same as a lease for a large wind energy project.

The new process provides a 30 day-limit for the BIA to issue decisions on residential leases, subleases, and mortgages. For commercial or industrial development, the BIA would have 60-days to review leases and subleases. If the BIA does not complete its review of subleases in this timeframe, those agreements will automatically go into effect.

The new rule increases flexibility in compensations and land valuations, with BIA deferring to the tribe’s negotiated value for a lease of tribal land rather than requiring additional, costly appraisals. Other changes eliminate the requirement for BIA approval of permits for certain short-term activities on Indian lands, and supports landowner decisions regarding the use of their land by requiring the BIA to approve leases unless it finds a compelling reason to disapprove.

Led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Donald E. (“Del”) Laverdure, Interior conducted several rounds of consultation in 2011 and 2012 to develop the proposed and the final regulations. The comments received in writing and during the public meetings helped inform the final regulations being announced today.

 

Seattle Children’s Hospital featured in launch of first-ever crowdfunded hospital gift catalog

Press Release, Jennifer Kern, PR & Company LLC

With the holidays fast approaching, holiday giving this year has a new social media twist: crowdfunding gifts that give back.

In Seattle, Seattle Children’s Hospital is taking part in the launch of the first-ever crowdfunded hospital gift catalog –www.GiveMiracles.org – as part of a national campaign led by the world’s largest crowdfunding-for-good platform, Fundly, and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Through www.GiveMiracles.org, individuals wanting to give back with their holiday gifts can purchase critically-needed medical equipment and medical care for children at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Once donors choose their gift from the www.GiveMiracles.org catalog, ranging from comfort toys ($30), to a pediatric wheelchair ($970), to an entire hospital wing devoted to neonatal intensive care ($12 million), they will receive updates on exactly how their gift is being utilized.

Individuals can also quickly and easily launch their own personalized crowdfunding campaign on the www.GiveMiracles.org platform to collectively purchase big-ticket, high-impact medical items for the hospital through small donations from friends and family via Fundly, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Hibulb Cultural Center features author Elise Krohn

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montrueil

Participants included master gardeners, novice gardeners and natural resource professionals

TULALIP, Washington- Some grow along the edges of forests at low elevations, others grow in thick shrubs beneath the canopy of the forest, or can populate all over the Americas. They are known as nature’s remedy, they are native plants, and have been used for their medicinal properties by Coast Salish people for hundreds of generations.

On November 15th, the Hibulb Lecture Series featured Traditional Foods Educator and Herbalist, Elise Krohn, and the local stars of the night were the hawthorn, the rose hip, and the evergreen huckleberry.

Krohn develops curriculum for Northwest Indian College’s Traditional Plants and Foods Program, where students and tribal members are reconnecting with the medicine of their ancestors.

According to NWIC, in 2005 the Cooperative Extension Office responded to requests made by elders and tribal health care workers who wanted more knowledge of traditional foods and medicines. In response, the Traditional Plants and Foods Program was created, where not only was the importance of cultural foods highlighted, but where to gather them.

Since its creation, 15 tribes have hosted gatherings, and offered curriculum focusing on diabetes prevention through traditional plants, harvesting throughout the seasons, medicine making, youth activities, and creating community-healing gardens, such as the Northwest Indian Treatment Center Healing Gardens.

Through work with the Northwest Indian Treatment Center Healing Gardens, a drug and alcohol residential treatment program located in Elma, Wash. and funded by the Squaxin Island Tribe, Krohn has seen the success of reconnecting with culture through the use of native plants.

“It’s amazing to watch the plants teach the people,” said Krohn. “I am focusing on teaching what native foods can do for people. I am talking about foods that are

Hawthorn leaves and plants were on display during the lecture given by Elise Krohn

accessible, plants that we encounter everyday that are native to this area.”

“It you want people to heal, you have to treat them within their own culture, and a part of that culture is the use of native plants. If people can remember where they come from and what traditions are a part of their culture, that is where the healing begins,” she explained.

Elise discussed the many medicinal properties that huckleberry, rosehips, and hawthorn offer. Hawthorn – known as the heart healer, for example, can lower high blood pressure and raise low blood pressure and because of its hardy nature, can grow almost anywhere.

Rosehips help build the immune system through its high percentage of vitamin C and has been used by some tribes for compresses to treat skin wounds and scabs. Huckleberry is used to keep urine acidic, reducing the growth of bacteria, and when served as a tea, it helps modify blood sugar levels in Type 1 diabetes, and decreases allergy related inflammatory responses.

“Once you start to learn plants, you realize that all these plants have a body, mind and spirit. Often times the spiritual uses of a plant will mirror the physical

Hawthorn and Rosehip berries grow almost anywhere

uses. The layers of knowing each plant are so deep,” said Krohn.

Participants to the lecture were also able to learn tips for drying each plant, a variety of uses, the best time to gather and some tasty reciepes. Tips for storing included glass jars, such as canning jars, to be used after the plant has been harvested and well dried.

For more information on harvesting tips and descriptions of medicinal properties of local native plants that can be safely harvested, please visit Elise Krohn’s blog at www.wildfoodsandmedicines.com.

            Elise is the author of Wild Rose and Western Red Cedar: the Gifts of the Northwest Plants and co-author of Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture.  She contributed content to an exhibit about native foods at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-716-4189; bmontreuil@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Tulalip Transit installs permanent bus stops along their routes

Permanent bus stop featuring benches for riders are now being installed along the Tulalip Transit Route

Article by Brandi N. Montreuil, photo submitted by Mike Sarich

            Tulalip Transit has finished installing the new permanent bus stops along their Tulalip Bay Route. Each bus stop will feature the Tulalip Transit logo to identify which service the rider will be using. Benches attached to the bus stop poles will be available for elderly commuters who utilize the free transit service currently running two routes around the Tulalip Reservation.

            “Right now nine have been placed, some additional work needs to be done in order to put the remaining three in, so there will be a total of twelve,” explained Tulalip Transit Supervisor, Mary Hargrove.

            “Mission Highlands [housing development] received four bus stops, and those are the people that we are really trying to reach, because they don’t have any bus service at all. By getting them to at least Silver Village they can catch the Community Transit, or if they needed any of the services that are located out here, they can ride our bus.”

            Currently, the bus routes offered through Tulalip Transit services areas along Tulalip Bay, including stops at the Tulalip Administration Building, Silver Village and Mission Highlands housing developments, the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic, Senior Center, and the Don Hatch Jr. Youth Center & Greg Williams Court.

            The John Sam Lake route covers areas in the John Sam Lake and Aspen housing developments, the Seattle Premium Outlet Mall, and the Tulalip Resort Casino.

            Riders, who need to reach areas near Quil Ceda Casino and Tulalip Tribal Court, will need to use Community Transit.

Community Transit, explains Mary, can be used to connect the two Tulalip Transit routes, John Sam Lake and Tulalip Bay, as they share some bus stops with Community Transit.   “Community Transit has been gracious enough to let us share their bus stops, such as the one along Totem Beach and 64th Street. We are going to be placing another one near the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic, there is a temporary bus stop there now, but Community Transit was kind enough to leave there bus stop there when they made changes to their route so our passengers could continue to have some place to sit.”

            Tulalip Transit is a free transit service to Tulalip Tribal members and residents located within the Tulalip Reservation boundaries. It provides service to rural areas of the Tulalip Reservation where there are no other transit service available.

            For more information on routes and transit schedules, please visit the website www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov/Home/Community/TulalipTransit.aspx.

Time is running out for the 2012 VAWA reauthorization

Article by Brandi N. Montreuil, photos by Francesca Hillery

 

TULALIP,Washington- Diane Millich was 24, and a newlywed when her husband began to beat her. After a year of relentless physical abuse Diane filed for divorce hoping the law would protect her through a protection order. But because the domestic violence took place on the Southern Ute Reservation, tribal justice had no jurisdiction over her non-Indian husband, who would repeatedly mock her about it. In one incident, she says, her husband called the police himself, to show her tribal laws could not touch him.

In fear for her life Diane sought refuge in a women’s shelter for two weeks afraid her husband would find her. He did. He showed up at her Colorado workplace and fired a 9mm pistol wounding her co-worker who pushed her out of the way. When he was arrested he was treated as a first-time offender because of the gaps in state and federal law that prevented tribal courts from prosecuting him for previous domestic violence incidents.

Stories like this are familiar to Native American women who have entered into domestic partnerships with non-Indian men; some which resulted in death.

Tribal leaders have struggled to push politicians to make the necessary provisions to the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that would grant tribal courts jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indian persons committing domestic violence within Indian Country.

Since VAWA was passed in 1994, reports of domestic violence have increased by 51 percent, and all states have passed laws making stalking a crime and fortified rape laws. The number of individuals killed by intimate partners has decreased by 34 percent for women and 57 percent for men.

Unfortunately, these numbers do not translate into Indian Country. Studies have reported that Native American women are 2.5 times more likely than their non-Indian counterparts to be abused and raped. The reports go on to state that 34 percent of Native women will be raped in their lifetime, and 39 percent will experience domestic violence.

Currently, the federal government is responsible to investigate and prosecute major and minor crimes committed by non-Indians on reservations. But a 2010

Loretta Lopez, a tribal member, and mother shows her support during the VAWA Day of Action

Government Accountability Office report stated that U.S. Attorneys declined to prosecute 67 percent of sexual abuse and related matter that occurred in Indian Country from 2005-2009. In 2006, only 24 misdemeanor crimes in Indian Country were prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys, and only 21 in 2007.

This gap has created an epidemic need for protection and a push to reauthorize the bill to include provisions that would protect Native American women.

The 2012 senate-proposed reauthorization of the bill would grant tribal courts criminal jurisdiction over all persons committing domestic violence, dating violence, and violation of protection orders within Indian Country, essentially improving the response to violence against Native women.

The proposed reauthorization was passed by the senate 68-31 earlier in the year but stalled in the House of Representatives, who created their own version that did not include the Tribal Provisions, leaving Native American women in limbo and unprotected.

Now as 2012 draws to an end the senate-proposed reauthorization is set to expire. If the bill that includes tribal provisions is not passed by the end of December, a new bill will have to be drafted, presented, and voted on.

To help raise awareness, women across Indian Country and the nation are taking to the streets to encourage people to contact their congressional leaders and tell them to pass the senate-proposed VAWA that includes the Tribal Provisions.

On November 14th, Tulalip tribal women participated in the VAWA Day of Action with a simple message; help protect me. Through a nationwide social campaign, pictures were uploaded to different websites, such as www.4VAWA.org that would make their way to congress, putting an identity to millions of women in Indian Country needing protection.

If you would like to get involved in the passVAWA 2012 Social Media Campaign please visit the website www.4VAWA.org, or call your local congressional leader.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-716-4189; bmontreuil@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov