UIHI - Service as Ceremony: A Journey Toward Healing

Service as Ceremony: A Journey Toward Healing cover

*Content warning: this report contains strong language about gender-based violence— domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women—that has been committed against American Indian and Alaska Native women through the voices of the providers that serve them.

Healing from violence for Indigenous people is an ever-evolving journey that includes times of joy, tears, celebration, grief, ceremony, and love. This path toward healing often incorporates support of the urban and rural tribal peoples, communities, and programs. This is the story of 24 direct-service providers who work in gender-based violence programs in urban and rural tribal communities across the United States. They have gifted us—Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI)—stories and experiences that provide a framework for serving Native survivors who primarily identify as Native cisgender women and youth of all genders and their families who experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, trafficking, or who are in connection to community members that have gone missing or were murdered. Native men and Two-Spirit and LGBTQ relatives (adults and youth) are mainly discussed in connection to unmet needs. Providers describe how they utilize and navigate relationships to support survivors and what providers still need to support Native survivors’ healing and justice.