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Seeking help for domestic violence

Elizabeth Carr talks about the signs of domestic violence and how to find help during the pandemic. Plus our correspondents Dalton Walker and Kolby KickingWoman share the stories they are covering.
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Senior Native affairs advisor for the National Indigenous women's resource center, Elizabeth Carr joins us on the show to talk about the signs of domestic violence and the two bills signed into law. 

And the fallout from Phoenix Indian Medical Center closing its birthing center continues. National correspondent Dalton Walker shares the closure to such a vital department.

Plus our correspondent Kolby KickingWoman from our Washington D.C. bureau joins us to talk about a few stories he's been working on.

Some quotes from today's show:

Elizabeth Carr:

 "We know that the pandemic unfortunately has had a disproportionate impact on Indian Country and as it continues to kind of wreck havoc and our communities, we know that our advocates and our tribal victim program service providers in our shelters are facing additional challenges. Really just trying to work to avoid disrupting any services for Native victims. We know that in some of our programs that staff were financially impacted by the revenue decreases within each individual tribal nation. And it's really kind of created a bit of a patchwork of tribal advocates and victim service providers across the country. And of course now they also face an escalated risk of transmitting COVID-19 to both themselves and their families by providing services to folks who may need shelter. So we know that a lot of our tribal programs have transitioned their advocacy efforts online, but unfortunately as we know broadband internet access as sometimes a challenge in our communities."

"And so those folks who don't really have that great access to the internet have been forced to maintain services and advocacy in person. But our services remain strong and resilient and we continue to provide those services to folks who need them. In these uncertain times when people are being recommended to stay home, we're really reminded that home isn't always the safest place and that there's a tragic reality that the pandemic has really put our relatives in abusive relationships at a heightened risk of violence because of the stay at home orders. And what we recommend, if you don't have access to shelter services in your own community to reach out to the strong hearts Native helpline you know, we have advocates there who understand the unique challenges that native survivors face and they're available every day to talk from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. CT."

"So that bill is really one of the only federal programs that provides resources to shelters. And so we know that we have less than 60 shelters in Indian Country, and FIPSE is a critical resource for those shelters that exist. They basically provide the funding to keep the doors open, to keep the lights on, and it's critically necessary for our tribal communities to have those resources. And so, while it's unauthorized, it's still functional in terms of, you know, the money is still being appropriated, but we really want to be able to see it be reauthorized so that it's safe for the appropriations process. And so we're continuing to push for that. We're pushing for some enhancements as well on the tribal side to include the permanent authorization of both the Alaska native women's resource center, as well as the strong hearts Native helpline, and then increase the amount that tribes are getting as well. And because we know that 60 shelters is not nearly enough for the amount of disproportionate impact domestic violence has on our communities. And so we continue to advocate on behalf of our sisters out in Indian Country, and we'll continue to do that in this next Congress as well."

Dalton Walker:

"Many say they were not given enough notice before their due dates. Others are still figuring out how to pay for the birth of their child now that PIMC is no longer delivering babies. Officials said last week the hospital will continue to provide prenatal care and other pre delivery care. However, one mom said that is not the case for her. Briana Almond who is Navajo, is 35 weeks pregnant. Last Friday she went to her prenatal checkup at PIMC and was told that was her last visit, PIMC would no longer offer prenatal checkups. Dr. Molina says PIMC is known for its culturally based OB care. Molina is a retired PIMC obstetrician and delivered hundreds of babies there in the 1990s. Today he is the corporate compliance officer with Native health. Now, it’s not just the mothers who are asking questions. On Monday, we also learned a bipartisan group of Arizona lawmakers have sent a letter to Indian Health Service demanding answers about the closure."

Kolby KickingWoman:

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"So my story focused on Montana where they have 11 members in their state legislature, which reflects the population demographics. The Native population in Montana is roughly 7% and the 11 members in the state house make up the same number. So that's a very good reflection of the state makeup."

"He spoke highly of the Montana American Indian caucus. All 11 members are a part of it and there's an additional non-Native person. They have a good relationship with the governor and his Indian affairs office just recently opened what they call tribal flag plaza outside in front of the capitol where the flags of all eight federally recognized drives fly next to the state flag and the American flag. Barbara Bessette the woman who I interviewed for my story said that experience was a very spiritual experience watching those flags go up and knowing what Native people have had to endure in order to get that representation and to see those flags fly at the capitol for generations to come was an awesome sight."

"It's going to be a busy one for us and I'm looking forward to it. You know being from Montana, I'm a little bit biased. I'm interested in some of the races there not only for their state legislature and Natives that are running there, but also at the senate race Steve Bullock has a chance to flip Montana. Next door in Idaho, Paulette Jordan is running for Senate and looking to flip Idaho, which is a traditionally red state Rudy Soto is also campaigning for the congressional house congressional seat there. And numerous other races across the country, so it's going to be an exciting night for sure."


Live news broadcast starting at 8 p.m. Mountain Standard at

(Look on our website for a list of stations airing the program.)

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. She is also the anchor of the weekday newscast. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, is a national correspondent at Indian Country Today. Follow him on Twitter: @daltonwalker Walker is based in Phoenix and enjoys Arizona winters.

Kolby KickingWoman, Blackfeet/A'aniih is a reporter for Indian Country Today. He is from the great state of Montana and currently reports for the Washington Bureau. For hot sports takes and too many Lakers tweets, follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406

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