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“Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Schools” – March 6, 2013

In the beginning of this presentation the panel tried to clarify what sexual harassment was or meant; there were a few people in the audience that seemed to think it meant more than or maybe less than what they explained.

According to their book: “Sexual Harassment is defined as unwanted sexual behavior that interferes with a student’s right to receive an equal education. Sexual assault, rape, dating violence, and other forms of sexual violence are considered extreme forms of sexual harassment and are subject to criminal prosecution.”

One of the many questions asked, that sparked my interest was: “How do you work with the parents?” Getting parents involved in anything, back home on the reservation can either be so easy as feeding them a meal and talking like friends OR it can be extremely difficult that even a meal won’t bring them in to discuss issues with their own children. The teacher who begin this program in her school, explained that it was easier getting the parents involved if everyone is aware of what is being said/done in the class itself. She is technology smart, she does her own blogs, students do their own blogs, everyone Tweets or Facebook’s about the class-keep it very public and open.

After a few more minutes of discussion amongst everyone, I was able to ask the question of how to bring it down to the grade school level, because it doesn’t always affect just or only grades 7-12. We discussed the activity from the “Hey Shorty” book or writing different incidences on an index card “Okay or NOT Okay” with my card’s example: Calling a girl a whore because she has many friends who are boys. With this we turn to our neighbors and discuss whether or not it’s OK. Of course the individuals I discussed this with, we agreed that it is NOT okay.

I believe that I could take this activity home to the reservation and work with students in the grade school, where sexual harassment is happening. I discussed this with the Principal of my daughters school and she is willing to bring this type of “help” into her school.

It looks like I have a project ahead of me and with other parents help I am sure we can accomplish this.

“How Can the Police Better Respond to Violence Against Women? The Case of Guatemala.” – March 4, 2013

I actually walked in about 15 minutes late & they were watching a video on “the Case of Guatemala”; because this video was in what sounded like spanish only, I had a hard time understanding what was said-exactly. (captions were too small to read from where I sat.) What I gathered was the fact that people were killed because they were involved in a domestic violence case (ie: man beating up woman) & those (men) bodies were buried in a mass grave-unknown location.

The story moved to the lack of police in that specific area or speedy response to domestic violence situations. It reminded me of how some reservations have that same problem. In talking with some of the Police Officers who work on Standing Rock, their biggest “gripe” is not having enough man power to cover the entire reservation. Especially those individuals needing their attention immediately, if a victim of domestic violence needs their help, they’re lucky if the Officer responds within 20 minutes and that’s if they live in town or if an Officer happens to be near by.

Their presentation also included the corruption in the Police system, that they wish to get society involved, have the women involved. Right now I can say Good Luck to them and hope that one day they do succeed.

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Native Women’s Ministry 2013 Team – 57th UNCSW by Elsie Dennis

Many years ago, I heard at a Native gathering someone say what an honor it is for those of us present to be able to travel to such an event. He said when he is able to attend he thinks of the little, old woman who decided to tithe that Sunday instead of buying groceries or paying another bill. We are able to travel because of her tithe. So that we must remember to do and be our best when we are selected to travel on behalf of the Church.
I write this because our presence as Native women of the Episcopal Church at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is vital and critical work. The United Nations (UN) assists nations in working together to improve the lives of those in poverty, to end hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to support rights and freedoms of all people. The UN serves as a moral authority for its 193 member states. Each day the UN provides food to 90 million people in 73 countries and protects and promotes human rights on site and through some 80 treaties and declarations.
Various faith communities are part of the “civil society,” the non-governmental organizations (NGO) that work as advocates for the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, such as for indigenous women who are victims of human trafficking, and to stop violence against women. Ecumenical Women (EW) is a coalition of NGOs devoted to opposing violence against women and girls world-wide by public awareness campaigns, education and improving the socio-economic conditions of families and individuals.
We go to share our stories as Indigenous women in The Episcopal Church, our work in exposing and repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. We go to hear the stories our sisters. Several women have come up to us and said, “Your story is my story. That happened to my people too in my country.” As our education and socio-economic well-being improves as Native people, we must reach out and share information with our Indigenous sisters and brothers throughout the world.(With appreciation to Lynnaia Main, Global Relations Officer, The Episcopal Church, who shared information from her “What is CSW and How Does It Relate to the UN” presentation with me.)

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Sarah Eagle Heart

Sarah Eagle Heart is the Missioner for the Office of Indigenous Ministries with The Episcopal Church. Ms. Eagle Heart is a member of the Oglala (Lakota) Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Ms. Eagle Heart’s work includes all aspects of advocacy, including networking, resource development and ministry development. She is also the Team Leader for the Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team of the Episcopal Church Center. Ms. Eagle Heart has attended United Nations Commission on the Status of Women since 2008, as a delegate of the Episcopal Church with the Anglican Consultative Council. She convenes the Anglican Council of Indigenous Women now focusing on Violence Against Women and Environmental Advocacy. Last year, she led an ecumenical delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues co-sponsoring an oral intervention with the World Council of Churches
and the Anglican Church of Canada during the theme: “Doctrine of Discovery”. The Episcopal Church was the first church “To Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery” in 2009.

Karen Kime (Australia)

The Venerable Karen Kime is the General Manager of Indigenous Services and Education for Anglicare across three dioceses in south eastern Australia. She is also a Birripa woman, whose people have a long heritage of living close to `country’. Her position within Anglicare focuses on community development and training. Karen is the first Indigenous woman to be made Archdeacon in
the Anglican Church of Australia; is a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council and the NSW Premier’s Council on homelessness. She is passionate about social justice for all people and works closely with Reconciliation Australia. Karen believes that the Church and associated organisations, have an important role to play in reconciliation within
her country.

Caressa James (United States)

Caressa M. James is a member of the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma and is a recognized member of the Southern Cheyenne& Arapaho and Kiowa tribes of Oklahoma. Caressa  has been active within the Episcopal church’s office of Indigenous Ministries via the Native Missioner’s office for the past few years. She is a young Native women who is also very active within her Native American Community’s youth Health & Wellness programs, educating and mentoring the young Native community about mind, body and spiritual wellness. She plans to attend the Physician Assistant program  at the Univ. of Oklahoma and utilize her experience and education by practicing good quality medicine within the Native American communities with an influence in Women’s health.

Elsie Dennis (United States)

Elsie Dennis is a member of the Shuswap/Secwepemc First Nation/Cherokee, First Nations Committee member, Diocese of Olympia, Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism, past member; Dismantling Racism Training Team, Diocese of Olympia, member; Ethnic Ministries Ambassador, The Episcopal Church. Elsie is the former Public Information Services Manager for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, former Interim Communications Specialist for the Diocese of Olympia and former Interim Communications Coordinator for St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, and former administrative assistant
for the Multicultural Ministries office for the Diocese of Olympia. She also worked as a court-based advocate for the Victim Assistance Unit; King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Seattle and served as a Trustee on the Highline Community College Board of Trustees, Des Moines, Wash.

Melissa Skinner (United States)

Unavailable at the time of posting.