Thank you Terri Henry! Former Co-Chair NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women


“During Terri’s tenure as Co-Chair, we achieved the passage of VAWA 2013 and the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. The Task Force worked to weave together the provisions of these laws to acknowledge the sovereign authority of Indian tribes to protect Native women from non-Indian perpetrators committing domestic and dating violence. We strengthened the jurisdictional authority of Indian tribes, tribal court, tribal police departments, and services that helped our Native women to create shelters, and SART teams and stabilized funding under CTAS. Throughout this struggle, we maintained the essential involvement and important role of advocates to support and assist Native women and all victims. Terri Henry contributed her expertise and knowledge of DOJ and OVW, federal Indian law, and the international context to win victories for the movement. On behalf of the Task Force and the network of all the members of the Task Force, we applaud Terri and welcome Michelle Demmert as the new Co-Chair.” —Juana Majel, NCAI Secretary and Co-Chair Task Force on Violence Against Women.

As Terri Henry, our beloved Co-Chair of the NCAI Task Force, moves on we wish her well and send our deepest appreciation for her leadership over the years. In June 2010, Terri Henry became the Co-Chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Native Women. At the time, Terri served as a Tribal Council Member for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Terri has left her position as the Task Force Co-Chair, and Michelle Demmert has stepped into the role.

Terri played an instrumental role in the creation of the Task Force in 2003. For close to two decades, Terri has provided leadership to the Task Force at the tribal, regional, national, and international levels. Since 2003, we have witnessed historic changes in federal law and policies that Terri helped to make possible. Terri provided essential leadership in the reauthorization of VAWA 2005 and the establishment of a tribal title within VAWA. During the difficult struggle to enact the tribal amendments of VAWA 2013 and restore tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians, she stepped forward to lead the effort in Washington, DC. In addition, Terri provided leadership for the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act in 2010 amending the Indian Civil Rights Act to increase the sentencing limitation on tribal courts from one to three years per offense.

Working collaboratively to build a national movement since 1996, Terri’s efforts have made a real and historic difference in the everyday lives of Native women. We extend to Terri our deepest appreciation for her dedication and tireless commitment to the safety of Native women and sovereignty of Indian nations.


2011, Senate Hart Building, Washington, DC—Terri thanking Senator Akaka for introducing the SAVE Native Women Act which was incorporated into the VAWA 2013 to become the historic amendment restoring criminal jurisdiction to Indian tribes over non-Indians committing domestic violence.
2010, White House, Washington, DC—Terri thanking President Obama during the signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 amending the Indian Civil Rights Act to increase the tribal court sentencing limitation from one to three years per offense.