Empowering tribal communities in the time of COVID-19

(Photo: Bay Mills Indian Community)

Press Pool

Bay Mills Indian Community hosting virtual VAWA and ICWA training August 5-7 via Zoom, registration required

News Release

Bay Mills Indian Community

In 2019, the Bay Mills Indian Community hosted its first annual Noojimo’iwewin: A Violence Against Women Act and Indian Child Welfare Act Training at the Bay Mills Horizon Center. Picking up where last year’s training left off, Bay Mills set out to hold its second annual Noojimo’iwewin: A Violence Against Women Act and Indian Child Welfare Act Training to once again meet to focus on issues of child welfare, domestic violence, and community healing.

However, restrictions and concerns surrounding COVID-19 have forced Bay Mills to move this training to a completely virtual platform. This training remains more relevant now than ever. As Bay Mills Tribal Attorney Whitney Gravelle notes: “Since time immemorial, tribal courts have found innovative ways to provide justice for their communities. As much of the county continues to battle a global pandemic, Bay Mills Indian Community strives to offer training encompassed with the Anishinaabe teaching of ‘noojimo’iwewin,’ which means healing others, and healing the heart, mind, as well as the body of illness.” 

This year, the training continues to focus on healing communities from trauma. With tracks focusing on either social services or law enforcement, the training includes a variety of panels and keynote speakers including author of Frybread and law professor Kevin Noble Maillard, Hon. Kelly Stoner of the Tribal Law & Policy Institute, Victoria Sweet of the NOVO Foundation, Hon. Megan K. Cavanagh of the Michigan Supreme Court, Sheldon Spotted Elk of the Casey Foundation, Lenny Hayes of Tate Topa Consulting LLC, Kate Fort of Michigan State University College of Law, and many more speakers including local advocates, service providers, tribal judges, and attorneys. This training has been approved for 10 general and 1 elimination of bias Minnesota Continuing Legal Education credits. Continuing education credits for social workers have been applied for and are pending through National Association of Social Workers-Michigan.

As Ms. Gravelle reminds us, “Empowering tribes with the ability to respond to violence within their communities is the first step to healing the intergenerational traumas that our tribes battle on a regular basis. Tribal governments have complex legal court systems in place that allow us to govern our communities in ways upon which we can draw upon tradition and restorative justice to respond to these crimes in a way that reflects the cultural values and knowledge of our people.”

This year’s training will be held on August 5-7, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET via Zoom. Registration is free and still open! You may register here. If you have any questions, please contact Neoshia Roemer at neoshia@whitenergroup.biz. This training is made possible by the Office of Tribal Justice’s TJS funding and organized by The Whitener Group. 

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(Image: Bay Mills Indian Community)
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