Wendy Schlater is a dual citizen of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians and the U.S. In March 2019, Wendy was elected Vice Chairwoman for her Tribe, her third term as an elected tribal leader. Wendy also serves as Program Director of La Jolla’s Avellaka Program addressing safety for Native women on her Reservation. In this capacity, she organized the La Jolla Native Women’s Advisory Committee to host the first annual Inter-Tribal Sexual Assault Awareness Walk in 2010, which continues today traveling from reservation to reservation. The Sexual Assault Awareness Walks have reached over 5,000+ participants while educating and organizing sister tribes to address violence against women, an activity that has helped San Diego and Riverside tribal nations gain awareness about the epidemic of violence against Native women. Wendy has been instrumental in assisting sister tribes to apply for DOJ OVW funding to establish programs like the La Jolla Avellaka Program, that provides 24/7 crisis services, emergency shelter, food and clothing, safety planning, cultural specific community training, youth outreach, transportation, onsite professional counseling, off site alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation, transitional housing and Native LGBTQ2S supportive IPV services. Wendy also worked with her Tribe to adopt its first ever DV/SA/HT and stalking codes to exercise her Tribe’s sovereignty to protect its women and children citizens. Prior to this position, Wendy has worked as a Gaming Commissioner, Youth Coordinator and TANF Resource Program Manager for area Tribes and the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association. One of Wendy’s passions is to assert and utilize tribal sovereignty to bring much needed services to her people. One example of this is when she was Tribal Chairwoman and she advocated to Cal State San Marcos to develop and implement a Native Advisory Committee and honor Admission Contracts between the University and Tribal Nations, which was accomplished in 2002 and continues to be practiced today.
Wendy is also a member of the San Diego County Sexual Assault Response Team Committee and a Tribal Subcommittee member of the Violence Against Women Act Committee. She has experience serving as an on-call sexual assault advocate for the rape crisis center in San Diego County and a victim advocate for the Peace Between Partners Program at the local Indian Health Council. Wendy is a founding Board member of a non-profit tribal coalition, the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, for which she currently serves as NIWRC’s Board of Directors’ Treasurer. NIWRC is a national tribal nonprofit dedicated to restoring tribal sovereignty to increase Native women’s safety. Throughout her career, she has advocated for Native LGBTQ/2Spirit youth and adults, tribal youth, health, education, land, environmental issues and safety for Native women, developing innovative ways to create Tribal responses and programs respective of her people’s customs and traditions.