Bay Mills Indian Community Hosts Second Annual Noojimo’iwewin: A VAWA and ICWA Training

Bay Mills Indian Community is hosting its second annual Noojimo’iwewin: A VAWA and ICWA Training on August 5-7, 2020. Once again, the training will focus on issues of child welfare, domestic violence, and community healing. This year, the event is completely virtual. For more details, please see the press release or event website.

Press Release: July 29, 2020

Event website

Bay Mills Indian Community and OJS Present Virtual VAWA and ICWA Training: August 5-7, 2020

_Noonjimo’iwewin_ A VAWA and ICWA Training

The Bay Mills Indian Community (Gnoozhekaaning) will host Noojimo’iwewin: A Virtual VAWA and ICWA Training, August 5-7, 2020. Streamed digitally via Zoom, the conference invites law enforcement officials, attorneys, and social work advocates from all communities to look forward from domestic violence. This training is tuition free. Register here.

Press release, Noojimo’iwewin: VAWA and ICWA Training 2020

PDF save the date, Noojimo’iwewin: VAWA and ICWA Training

New VAWA Bill Introduced in the Senate

On Wednesday, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced a version of the Violence against Women Act bill that she sponsored. The new VAWA bill attempts to significantly erode tribal sovereignty in the name of “defending civil rights” by eliminating the exhaustion of tribal remedies, forcing an over-broad application of the U.S. Constitution in tribal courts, and providing a cause of action for defendants to sue tribes for civil rights violations.

This excerpt from the recent FMC Corp. v.  Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, — F.3d —-, 2019 WL 6042469 *22 (9th Cir. 2019), encompasses exactly why this bill is misguided in its attempts to abrogate tribal sovereignty:

“Making good on these due process guarantees, nearly five decades of tribal cases applying ICRA show that tribal courts protect the rights of both member and nonmember litigants in much the same way as do federal and state courts.” Norton, 862 F.3d at 1250. “[T]ribal courts often provide litigants with due process that ‘exceed[s] the protections offered by state and federal courts.’” Id. (second alteration in original) (citing Matthew L.M. Fletcher, American Indian Tribal Law 325 (2011))…[o]ur own experience in reviewing tribal court decisions is consistent with the findings of these studies. Tribal courts, like all courts (including our own), make mistakes. But, contrary to the contention of FMC, tribal courts do not treat nonmembers unfairly.

A copy of the bill is here.

The HuffPost ran an article on how this proposed VAWA legislation harms tribes on Thursday, November 21, 2019. That article is here.

Sixth Circuit Affirms Tribal Court Decision in Spurr v. Pope


But our review involves no probing of the facts, just a pure question of law: Does a tribal court have jurisdiction under federal law to issue a civil personal protection order against a non-Indian and non-tribal member in matters arising in the Indian country of the Indian tribe? Because 18 U.S.C. § 2265(e) unambiguously grants tribal courts that power, and because tribal sovereign immunity requires us to dismiss this suit against two of the named defendants, we AFFIRM the district court’s dismissal of Spurr’s complaint.

Answer Brief
Appellant Brief

Lower court materials here.

Tribal supreme court decision here.


Cert Petition

Brief in Opposition

Noojimo’iwewin: A VAWA and ICWA Training



Join this free training

August 1-2, 2019

at the Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley, MI

A multi-disciplinary training geared toward child welfare and domestic violence advocates to implement effective service and advocacy strategies in cases involving child welfare, domestic violence, or both.

Register here and check out the Facebook event page.

Featured trainers include Hon. Jocelyn Fabry, Chief Judge, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Rachel Carr, Executive Director, Uniting Three Fires Against Violence; Hon. Ron Whitener, Chief Judge, The Tulalip Tribes; Kate Fort, Director, Indian Law Clinic, Michigan State University Law, Indigenous Law Program; Lenny Hayes, Executive Director, Tate Topa Consulting, LLC and more. For a complete list of trainers visit the event page.

Brought to you by Bay Mills Indian Community and the OJS Tribal Justice Support.

Noojimo’iwewin – healing others, healing of the heart and mind as well as illness.

Noojimo’iwewin: A VAWA and ICWA Training

Please join the Bay Mills Indian Community for this multi-disciplinary, tuition-free training geared toward child welfare and domestic violence advocates to implement effective service and advocacy strategies in cases involving child welfare, domestic violence, or both. Minnesota CLEs are available for this training.

This training will be in Brimley, Michigan on August 1-2, 2019. For more information, please see the Save the Date below or visit the website.

Noonjimoiwewin_ A VAWA and ICWA Training

Washington State AG Opinion on WA’s Obligation to Enforce Tribal PPOs


Dear Justices Owens and Madsen:

By letter previously acknowledged, you have requested our opinion on two questions that I paraphrase as follows:

1. Does Washington have an obligation to enforce protection orders issued by the courts of other states or by Indian tribal courts?

2. If Washington has such an obligation, is registration of a protection order in a Washington state court a prerequisite to enforcement?


1. Yes. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 2265, requires that any protection order issued by the court of a state or Indian tribe be accorded full faith and credit and enforced by the court of another state or Indian tribe, if the protection order is consistent with 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b). The Washington Foreign Protection Order Full Faith and Credit Act, RCW 26.52, implements this requirement in Washington.

2. No. Under 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2), a protection order issued by a state or Indian tribe must be accorded full faith and credit regardless of whether it is registered or filed in the court of the enforcing state or Indian tribe. Washington law permits protection orders to be filed without cost, but filing is not a prerequisite to enforcement. RCW 26.52.030.

VAWA Reauthorization 2018

The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Bill has been introduced today in the House by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee.

Full text of bill available Final–VAWA 2018 copy

Press Release from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee here

In addition, the National Indigenous Woman’s Resource Center (NIWRC) is leading a social media campaign to promote support for the reauthorization. Below is a sampling of the information from NIWRC.


NIWRC has developed a social media campaign. All of the insta/twitter/posters you need are attached to this email!!! Please post and tag @NIWRC 

Additionally, there are some social media hashtags for today and going forward that you can use from the National movement: #VAWA4ALL and #VAWA2018. If you tag NIWRC, we will retweet/reinstagram/repost! Because this bill includes needed protections for Native women, NIWRC will also be using #TribalVAWA and #VAWA4Natives. 


Sample TWEETS for Introduction of Bill: 

A Braid of Safety for All! Protect Native Survivors…Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act @NIWRC @jacksonleeTX18 #VAWA4ALL #VAWA4Natives #TRIBALVAWA #VAWA18

Native Survivor’s Can’t Wait…Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act @RepHandle  @NIWRC #VAWA4Natives #TRIBALVAWA #VAWA4ALL   

We’re with @JacksonLeeTX18 to pass #VAWA4ALL because native survivors deserve justice! Please co-sponsor @RepHandle 

Violence doesn’t discriminate and neither should our laws! Support #VAWA18 and ensure Native survivors of gender-based violence have access to justice on tribal lands! #VAWA4ALL 

@RepHandle, violence against women happens in our community, too. Reauthorize #VAWA and support prevention and education programs that keep our jurisdiction safe!

The Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018, introduced by @JacksonLeeTX18 today, includes key enhancements for all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. @HouseDemocrats and @HouseGOP, let’s get this bill across the finish line! #VAWA18 #VAWA4ALL

The Violence Against Women Act has always been bipartisan. @Rephandle can we count on you to co-sponsor @JacksonLeeTX18 ‘Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018’ for a #VAWA4All survivors? #VAWA18

We’re with @JacksonLeeTX18 to pass #VAWA4ALL because communities need access to sexual assault prevention! @RepHandle, please co-sponsor #VAWA18

We’re with @JacksonLeeTX18 to pass #VAWA4ALL because survivors need housing protections! @RepHandle, please co-sponsor the “Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018’

Violence doesn’t discriminate and neither should our laws! Support #VAWA18 and ensure incarcerated survivors of gender-based violence have access to trauma-informed care! #VAWA4ALL

Support #VAWA18 and ensure survivors of domestic abuse access to safe housing! #VAWA4ALL

Reducing access to firearms saves women’s lives! Support #VAWA18 and help prevent firearm-involved intimate partner homicides #VAWA4ALL

NIWRC instagram 1 copy.png

2017 US DOJ Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS)

Meant to post this sooner, but the CTAS applications are up and due February 28th. These grants provide can support to tribal courts and tribal justice systems:

In Fiscal Year 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) initiative, which encompassed most of the Department’s available Tribal government-specific grant programs. Through CTAS the Department has awarded over 1,600 grants totaling more than $722 million to hundreds of American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The Tribes are using these funds to enhance law enforcement, bolster justice systems, prevent and control delinquency, strengthen the juvenile justice system, serve sexual assault and elder victims, and support other efforts to combat crime.


Fact Sheet