Tag Archive for: VAWA

White House 2023 Progress Report for Tribal Nations Highlights Commitment to Supporting Urban Native Communities

The Biden-Harris Administration released the 2023 Progress Report for Tribal Nations (“Progress Report”) during the December 6-7, 2023, White House Tribal Nations Summit. The Progress Report touches on several areas of concern to urban Indian organizations (UIOs) as discussed in the National Council of Urban Indian Health’s (NCUIH) 2023 Policy Priorities. The Progress Report also highlights work done in partnership with UIOs, such as initiatives addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP), Native Veteran Health and Homelessness, Mental Health, Health Information Technology (HIT) Modernization, and Reproductive Health Care.

Successes with Urban Native Communities Highlighted MMIP

In January 2023, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted the MMIP Prevention, Early Intervention, and Victim and Survivor Services Plan to the White House Domestic Policy Council and to the President. Developed in consultation with the Department of the Interior, Tribal Nations, research and community-based organizations and UIOs, it is a comprehensive plan to support prevention efforts that reduce risk factors for victimization of Native Americans and increase protective factors, including by enhancing the delivery of services for Native American victims and survivors as well as their families and advocates.

Native Veterans

In support of the Native American Veterans Homelessness Initiative, VA and other federal agencies engaged with UIOs to support and offer resources to AI/AN Veterans experiencing homelessness. The Initiative took the following actions in 2023:

  • VA and Indian Health Service (IHS) developed an informational brochure for Native American veterans experiencing homelessness and distributed these brochures to UIOs, IHS facilities, and external partners across the country.
  • VA and IHS developed and launched an interagency interactive map of UIOs and VA healthcare systems with points of contact information in June 2023.
  • VA developed and implemented training webinars for UIOs to raise awareness of VA homeless programs among Native American veterans and to build or increase effective, responsive, and collaborative relationships between UIOs and VA.
  • VA and various UIOs collaborated on Stand Down events in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and soon Alaska. These one-to-three-day events bring VA staff and volunteers together to provide food, clothing, and health screenings to homeless and at-risk veterans and receive referrals for healthcare, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment, mental health counseling, and other essential services.

The Veterans Health Administration amended its medical regulations to implement a statute exempting eligible Indian and urban Indian veterans from copayment requirements. This change is based on a requirement within the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020. As of October 2023, 2,674 Native veterans have been approved for the copayment exemption, with copayment cancellations totaling just over $1.5 million.

Mental Health

HHS announced a new $35 million grant opportunity, enabled by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, to better support the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline services in Tribal communities. One of the aims of the program is to facilitate collaborations between Tribal, state, and territory health providers, UIOs, law enforcement, and other first responders in a manner that respects Tribal sovereignty.

HIT Modernization

Throughout the process for selecting the new Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor, IHS coordinated with Tribal and urban Indian organization partners through extensive Tribal engagement via Tribal consultations, listening sessions, urban confers, advisory committee meetings, an Industry Day, and the participation of hundreds of Tribal, urban Indian, and IHS system users in vendor product demonstrations. IHS ultimately awarded a 10-year contract to General Dynamics Information Technology to build, configure, and maintain a new enterprise EHR system utilizing Oracle Cerner technology.

Reproductive Health Care

In response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Strengthening Access to Affordable, High-Quality Contraception and Family Planning Services, IHS added new over-the-counter contraception options to the IHS National Core Formulary, which will expand access to high-quality contraception for patients. IHS encouraged Tribally or UIO operated IHS facilities to make the same options available to patients.

DOJ Consultation Meeting on the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Needs of Native Americans

On January 14, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ) issued a Dear Tribal Leader letter inviting Tribal leaders to a two-day government-to-government consultation on March 16 and 17, 2022. The purpose of this two-day consultation is to discuss “DOJ’s efforts to address the unacceptably high rate of violent crime in Native communities, including the rates of missing or murdered indigenous persons.” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco directed this consultation in her November 15, 2021  memorandum establishing the DOJ’s Steering Committee to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous persons (MMIP). The OTJ is also welcoming written comments via email to OTJ@usdoj.gov until April 15, 2022. The meetings will be held from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST on both days.

On November 15, 2021, during the White House Tribal Nations Summit, President Biden signed Executive Order 14053 (E.O.) “Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People,” which directed the Administration to work together with Tribes to “build safe and healthy Tribal communities and to support comprehensive law enforcement, prevention, intervention, and support services.”  The E.O. also recognizes that because “approximately 70 percent of American Indian and Alaska Natives live in urban areas and part of this epidemic of violence is against Native American people in urban areas, we must continue that work on Tribal lands but also build on existing strategies to identify solutions directed toward the particular needs of urban Native Americans.”  To that end, in her November 15, 2021 memorandum, Deputy Attorney General Monaco directed DOJ’s Steering Committee to seek and consider the views of stakeholders including Urban Indian Organizations.

Tag Archive for: VAWA

The Never-Ending Maze: Continued Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA

Authors: Amnesty International

Publication Year: 2022

Last Updated: May 17, 2022

Journal: Amnesty International

Keywords: Women's Health; VAWA


Short Abstract: More than half of all American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime; one in three have experienced rape. Since Amnesty International first reported on this issue in 2007, rates of violence against Indigenous women have not significantly changed, and the US government continues to fail to adequately prevent and respond to such violence. This is the Executive Summary of the report [available at https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/5484/2022/en/] which details some of the factors that contribute the high rates of sexual violence against Indigenous women, and the barriers to justice that they continue to face.


Source: Link to Original Article.

Source: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/5571/2022/en/

Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women: New Efforts Are Underway but Opportunities Exist to Improve the Federal Response

Authors: Government Accountability Office
Publication Year: 2021
Last Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Journal: Government Accountability Office
Keywords: Awareness; Data Collection; Development; Minority Groups; Race; Violence; Women's Health

Short Abstract: Research has proven that AI/AN women in the U.S. experience higher rates of violence than most other women. Due to this, tribal and federal officials have stated that this incidence of violence constitutes a crisis. Due to lack of an adequate response/data, GAO was asked to review the federal response to the missing or murdered AI/AN women crisis. This report examines the not only the numbers of missing and murdered AI/AN women, but also the DOD and DOJ's response thus far.


Source: Link to Original Article.