The Cherokee Nation recently received an $884,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help the tribe’s Charles L. Head ONE FIRE Against Violence Victim Services office educate the public on domestic violence issues and offer victims essential services.
The grant will fund a youth education component on dating violence in school districts within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction. Funding will also help establish a traditional healing process for victims seeking cultural healing practices.
“Domestic violence is a scourge in our country, but at Cherokee Nation we will continue to make the safety and education of our people a top priority. The U.S. Department of Justice funds will help fulfill the mission of our ONE FIRE Victim Services Center,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Through ONE FIRE, we are able to assist domestic violence survivors who desperately need our help. Additionally, it allows us to create much-needed public awareness and education programs for all of our citizens.”
As part of the grant, ONE FIRE will work with other Cherokee Nation departments and outside organizations to provide resources for victims. ONE FIRE staff will soon host community meetings in targeted areas within the Cherokee Nation to build trust and educate the public on the services available.
“ONE FIRE stands for Our Nation Ending Fear, Intimidation, Rape and Endangerment, and at ONE FIRE that is exactly what we are trying to do. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women,��� said Director Nikki Baker Limore. “Protecting Native women and educating the public are vital to stemming abuse and the domestic violence epidemic. Through this grant, the ONE FIRE office will be able to offer essential services to victims and start the education process at an early age by visiting schools throughout the Cherokee Nation. We are excited that ONE FIRE was re-funded for another three years and look forward to continuing the fight against domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence.”
ONE FIRE victim services are available to both Native and non-Native victims. Since opening its doors in April 2013, ONE FIRE has helped serve 181 individuals with advocacy or financial assistance. The ONE FIRE office is located at 118A E. Keetoowah St. in Tahlequah.
Victims of sexual assault or violence can call the emergency hotline at (866) 458-5399.