About Us

WomenSpirit Coalition (WSC) is also known as the Washington State Native American Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. WSC is a private, non-profit 501c3 charitable organization that was founded in 2002 and is located in the Olympia, WA capital area.  WSC is one of 18 Tribal Coalitions nationwide providing a voice for Native women, their families, and communities suffering from epidemic rates of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking.  WSC is founded, organized, and staffed by Native women. WSC serves 29 tribes in Washington State. We offer technical assistance, consultation, and training.  We provide assistance with program development, proposal review, culturally- based violence prevention and intervention practices, and models of advocacy specific to tribal communities. WSC also provides training on a National level. WSC convenes the Regional WSC Networking meetings (Western & Eastern Region) and the Tribal Law and Justice Advisory Committee (LJAC), promoting the voices of Native survivors and advocates. Tribes, tribal programs/departments, tribal councils, individual tribal citizens, and allies of Native people are invited to become members of WSC, and to contact us to find out more about our services.

Why WomenSpirit Coalition is Needed

Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the USA in general.* Furthermore, at least 86 percent of reported cases of rape or sexual assault against Native women are reported to be non-Native men.* It is critical to the health of our women, families, and communities that we stop this violence. WomenSpirit Coalition staff and board members are Native women who know that eliminating this violence requires an understanding of herstory, oppression, and trauma. Furthermore, developing an infrastructure to protect Native women is complex. Tribal, city, county, state, and Federal law enforcement and judicial entities must have an understanding of Native values and be steadfast in their anti-racism practices.

No matter the level of your Tribe’s domestic violence prevention program, from just starting to well-developed, WSC can take it to the next level.

*From Maze of injustice, The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA, 2006

What WomenSpirit Can do to Help Your Tribe Stop Violence Against Native Women

  • Create programs to end domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and teen dating violence on your reservation.
  • Protect victims by developing/improving shelters, justice services, and batterer intervention.
  • Inform and build confidence with staff through individualized trainings.
  • Communicate and foster support with your community by developing task forces and focus groups.
  • Find out what will best help your community members by developing and conducting needs assessments.
  • Empower the women of your community with mentoring and leadership projects.
  • Put the spotlight on the need to end domestic violence/sexual assault through workshops, summits, and conferences.

 Our Board and Staff

WomenSpirit Coalition greatly appreciates the passion and dedication of its nine board members, representing nine Washington State Tribes.

We have a small staff, and rely on many volunteers and helpers. Please contact our staff if you have questions or need assistance.

Dee Koester MS, Executive Director, WSC Founder — specializing in organizational development and public policy

Dee Koester MS, -Founder, and Executive Director – Dkoester@womenspirit.net
Annie Forsman-Adams- Education and Training Coordinator I- Aforsman@womenspirit.net
Gene (Bear) Hughes- Education and Training Coordinator II- Ghughes@womenspirit.net
Cheryl Neskahi Coan- Victim Services Liaison I- CCoan@womenspirit.net