Our funding is statutory and specifically set forth in the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. While the work of the tribal coalitions may differ from state to state, region or tribe, are work is clearly defined in the federal statute. Tribal coalition grant funding can be used to:
· Increase the awareness of the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and sex trafficking;
· Enhance the response to violence against Indian women at the tribal, federal and state levels;
· Provide technical assistance to coalition membership and tribal communities to enhance access to services to victims of domestic and sexual violence;
· Assist Tribes in developing and promoting state, local and tribal legislation and policies that enhance best practices for responding to crimes of domestic and sexual violence.
There are 18 tribal coalitions currently operating in Indian Country. Some tribal coalitions are organization to serve regions which could include multiple states or sections of states. Some tribal coalitions serve only the tribes in one particular state, and some tribal coalitions serve only one tribe. But here is the most important thing about Tribal Coalitions that you need to know – they’ve got your back. They know that the most difficult and valued work in the field of domestic and sexual violence advocacy is done at the ground level – the tribal programs and individuals that provide direct services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Similar to how domestic and sexual violence advocates advocate for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and sex trafficking, YOUR tribal coalitions advocate for you. We know that when you programs succeed, victims are being served and tribal communities are being supporting in speaking out against and responding to violence against women.
So beside being your greatest supporters, what can tribal coalitions do to help you feel better supported in your work to end domestic and sexual violence in Indian Country? Tribal coalitions can:
· Provide trainings for advocates and community professionals to build and strengthen the skills needed to serve victims;
· Assist with community awareness and education outreach ideas and events;
· Provide guidance on programmatic and financial reporting requirements to keep you in good grant compliance so that you continue to receive critical funding;
· Share research, best practices, forms and policies to help build program capacity;
· Help facilitate relationships with your tribal and non-tribal colleagues and agencies;
· Facilitate discussions on difficult issues and help address barriers to service and justice;
· Provide self-care tips for dealing with vicarious trauma to make sure that you all stay healthy and well to provide the valuable services that you provide.
· And the list goes on and on and varies from tribal coalition to tribal coalition.
You are not alone in the work that you do. In fact you have an extended family in your tribal coalition sisters and brothers.