CTUIR to Host Domestic Violence Summit July 9-11 at Wildhorse Resort

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Family Violence Services Manager Desiree Coyote, right, walks with Education Administrative Assistant Andria Scott and a child during a remembrance walk commemorating Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women People Week on May 6. The FVS is a hosting its 2024 Tribal State & Federal Summit that will focus on domestic violence July 9-11 at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino. (Photo courtesy of CTUIR)

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s (CTUIR) Family Violence Services (FVS) will hold a Tribal State & Federal Summit focusing on domestic violence July 9-11 at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino.

FVS Coordinator Desiree Coyote said the CTUIR held its first summit in 2004 to enhance skills of professionals and community awareness. Since then FVS has held at least six summits.

“The 2007 summit was specifically designed for law enforcement, systems and our community,” she said. “In 2010, a conference was held just after the CTUIR adopted a new and updated domestic and sexual violence code, which included confidentiality for tribal domestic violence advocacy. The 2013 summit was specific to tribal, state and federal professionals as this was just after CTUIR had some experience prosecuting non-Natives in tribal court and solidifying our use of tribal protections orders.

Coyote said this year’s summit follows the 2022 Violence Against Women Act renewal, which expanded tribal courts’ criminal jurisdiction to cover non-Native suspects of sexual assault, child abuse, stalking and sex trafficking. The act also strengthened the application of evidence-based practice by law enforcement in responding to gender-based violence, including promoting the use of trauma-informed, victim-centered training and improving homicide-reduction initiatives.

This year’s summit agenda includes sessions regarding:

  • The importance of a trauma-informed approach in working with families, survivors and communities by integrating trauma awareness into everyday interactions
  • The importance of confidentiality in providing victim service and how privacy is essential to survivors of domestic and sexual violence
  • How strangulation and traumatic brain injuries caused by domestic violence are rarely identified and almost never treated
  • The barriers, inequities and system challenges resulting from unjust domestic violence and child welfare responses

“Often, when intimate partner violence occurs, the system (police, child welfare, etc.) are quick to acknowledge the violence and that children may see or hear the violence,” Coyote said. “However, the incident impacts the whole family and often for a lifetime. Children, newborn, infant, youth and teens are impacted physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – the whole being. From the context of the systems, theirs is a work or practice handed down over generations that did not look at nor address the healing of the whole person. Bias, values, belief, stereotypes, ignorance and racism bleed into action, policy and laws, which in turn impacts our people who seek services or are forced to receive services by the systems.”

Coyote said agencies expected to attend include the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division, Oregon Department of Justice, Umatilla County Juvenile Division and Umatilla County Community Corrections. She added that officials from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Coquille Indian Tribe, Klamath Tribes, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of the Siletz are also expected to attend.

Tribal and non-tribal professionals and community members are invited to attend the free summit. For information, call 541-429-7415 or email desireecoyote@ctuir.org.

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