Virtual Event

2021 Women Are Sacred Conference


"Carrying Our Medicine and Strengthening Our Vision to End the Violence"

Calling all advocates and community members, NIWRC’s Women Are Sacred Conference (WAS) is going virtual! WAS is one of the largest gatherings of tribal domestic violence programs, advocates, survivors, tribal leaders, and community members, law enforcement, and tribal court personnel dedicated to ending violence against Indian women and children. Our 2021 conference will provide virtual training opportunities, presentations, and keynote addresses by established and emerging Indigenous leaders and experts in the movement to end the violence on various topics focused on supporting tribal nations, tribal domestic violence programs, and tribal community-based programs.

Our conference theme is "Carrying Our Medicine and Strengthening Our Vision to End the Violence." Carrying our medicine is how we have survived and continue to survive as Indigenous people. It is how we heal our spirit, our body, and the land we walk on. It is using traditional knowledge, skills, and practices to enhance the health and well-being of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our nations. The Women Are Sacred Conference represents the strength and resilience of our people and the tools and knowledge we have to make a difference. It’s about our shared vision for the future in ending the violence. 

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The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center honors the legacy of Wa Wokiya Win (Tillie Black Bear), Sicangu Lakota, through an award presented during its Women Are Sacred Conference to recognize outstanding grassroots advocates and direct service providers that exemplify the teachings and dedication Tillie instilled in restoring safety for Native women. This year's award will be presented virtually during the WAS Conference, June 8-10, 2021.

Our much beloved Tillie, known as the Grandmother of the Movement to End Violence Against Women, played a major leadership role in the work to restore safety for Native women. She believed in the teaching White Buffalo Calf Woman had brought to the Lakota people that even in thought, women are to be respected. Tillie’s steadfast leadership was rooted in the clarity of her beliefs and dedication to Native peoples and women. Her work spanned almost four decades until her passing in 2014. Tillie’s understanding of social change, organizing, movement building, served her well as a leader, an inspiration, a teacher, and a sister-mother-friend-icon.

“Native women have survived, Indian nations have survived, because of our beliefs and teachings.” –Tillie Black Bear

For the Tillie Black Bear Memorial Award, please consider nominating someone that embodies the teachings of Women as Sacred, cultural and traditional values, integrity, making connections beyond shelter doors, and exemplary service. The nominee would embody advocacy in action, grassroots organizing, or leadership in the movement to restore safety for Native women. All nominations must be received by Friday, May 14, 2021.

Submit a nomination for the Tillie Black Bear Memorial Award

More details coming soon.

The 2021 Women Are Sacred Conference is an incredible opportunity to reach hundreds of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian survivors, advocates, grassroots organizers, Tribal leaders, law enforcement, child welfare, social services, and Tribal court personnel.

We invite you to contribute to this year’s virtual Women Are Sacred Conference. View and download WAS Supporter Form here.