Dedicated to Restoring Sovereignty and Safeguarding Native Women and Children
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC) is a Native-led nonprofit organization dedicated to ending violence against Native women and children. The NIWRC provides national leadership in ending gender-based violence in tribal communities by lifting up the collective voices of grassroots advocates and offering culturally grounded resources, technical assistance and training, and policy development to strengthen tribal sovereignty. Our staff and board of directors consist of Native women from throughout the United States with extensive experience and commitment to ending violence against Native women and their children. NIWRC's staff bring decades of expertise in building the grassroots movement to increase tribal responses to domestic violence and increase safety for Native women.
Safety for Native women and their children relies on the ability of Indigenous nations to reclaim their pre-colonization belief systems and lifeways by which they governed themselves long before the United States was established as a nation. This includes the understanding that we are all relatives and have the right and responsibility to uphold the sacred status and integrity of women, which is at the core of tribal sovereignty. Essential to sovereignty and the safety of women is the unique legal right of Indian nations to self-government, access to trust resources, and culturally-centered ways. These ways support the voices and leadership of survivors of violence and grassroots advocates who are at the root of organizing for social, cultural, and legal changes, including changes that women need in order to live lives free from violence and abuse such as safe housing, economic security, childcare, healthcare, legal services, and abuser accountability. Accountability is secured through tribal justice systems and tribal laws upholding the sacred status and integrity of women. Tribal justice systems include Indigenous and Western responses such as policing and prosecution. Unlike non-Indian communities – where county or city governments have authority to investigate and prosecute both misdemeanor and felony crimes against women – federal legislation, case law, and policies have left tribes with far less legal authority and resources to protect their citizens. This reality effectively denies Native women access to justice and culturally appropriate services and subsequently prevents them from living free from violence.
NIWRC develops resources and training opportunities to support Tribes, grassroots advocates, and survivors in prioritizing the safety of Native women and their children and requiring accountability of offenders and communities. Native women, their children, and Tribal nations are entitled to:
- Safety from violence within their homes and in their community
- Justice both on and off tribal lands
- Access to culturally grounded advocacy designed by and for Native women
- Safe, affordable housing, legal services, childcare, economic security, and other basic resources provided in respectful ways
- Culturally-based, trauma and resiliency-informed services
- Access to indigenous healing ways