On June 29, 2016, President Obama traveled to Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) to meet with the President of Mexico and the Canadian Prime Minister to discuss a variety of topics impacting our shared borders. Among the many commitments announced at the NALS was a tri-lateral commitment to address the high levels of violence against indigenous women and girls that exist across North America. All three countries agreed that the high levels of violence endured by indigenous women and girls across the region warrants increased attention and coordination, resulting in the formation of the new North American Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls (the Working Group). The Working Group will meet for the first time in October in Washington, D.C. when government officials from Mexico and Canada will join the U.S. government to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and improve cross-border coordination in preventing and responding to violence against indigenous women and girls.
In preparation for the launch of this Working Group, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) invites you to provide input on key considerations regarding violence against Alaska Native and American Indian women and girls relevant to the objectives of the Working Group. To that end, DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is hosting listening sessions with officials of federally recognized Indian tribes to discuss challenges presented by the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders in preventing and responding to this violence. Please see the attached invitation and framing paper to learn more about upcoming meeting opportunities and issues for discussion.