A Snapshot in Time: Indigenous Leadership in the Creation of VAWA


This webinar is an opportunity to remember how the power of relationships led to creating the Violence Against Women Act and ensured the voices of Indigenous women who were battered were heard and reflected in the legislation. This conversation is with two nationally known indigenous advocates who proactively participated in the conceptualization and writing of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This years-long process was not smooth. There were intense, passionate conversations among many women, allies, and organizations. During times of struggle, rather than “take their dollies and go home,” they relied upon their commitment and relationships with each other as sisters, as relatives. Join us to hear an undocumented history and stories that shed light on the development of the work to end violence against Indigenous women.




About the Speakers

Karen Artichoker is a citizen/member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and is also very proud of her HoChunk roots. She worked for many years with the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, assisting Tribes in developing domestic violence shelters and system response. She is a founding mother and former Management Team Director for Cangleska, Inc., a domestic violence/sexual assault program that operated for over a dozen years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. After leaving Cangleska, Ms. Artichoker updated her work experience in the fields of addiction and mental health. She also completed the coursework and hour requirements for addiction counselor certification and has been attending graduate school to obtain a degree in Clinical Mental Health. Her career and life passion has been focused on ending violence against native women and developing opportunities that will enable and support native Peoples and Tribes in reclaiming the best of who we are individually and collectively.

Eileen Hudon has a long and illustrious lifetime of work in this movement. She is currently co-founder and organizer of the Elder’s Lodge Sexual Assault Council. She has founded and co-founded several vital, important organizations that continue to thrive, such as Mending the Women of Nations, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition and Mending the Sacred Hoop. She has worked in shelters and advocacy programs and brings a wealth of information. She served as a consultant and co-author of “Garden of Truth”, the first research of its kind in the US, addressing the prostitution and trafficking of Native Women. She has incredible experience in working directly with criminal, civil, juvenile, and tribal courts advocating on behalf of battered women and sexual assault victims. She is the advocate's advocate and continues to be a valuable mentor and teacher to everyone who comes in contact with her. She is a powerful national and international speaker, trainer, and program development specialist. Eileen grew up in Mahnomen, Minnesota, on the White Earth Reservation and has lived in the metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul since 1955. Eileen’s family moved to Minneapolis during the "Relocation" of Native people from their homelands. She has four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Since 1973, she has been an advocate/activist to end violence against women. She has lived at the Elder’s Lodge since 2009.