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Native Peoples

Justice for Kozee Decorah

Kozee Featherstone MontageAs part of their efforts to shine a light on missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW), our allies at Menīkānaehkem are asking for the support of ESTHER members and friends to:

  • Sign and circulate this petition regarding the murder of 22-year old Kozee Montana Featherstone Medicinetop Decorah. The petition asks that the charges against the alleged perpetrator be increased from manslaughter to second-degree murder, that five additional charges be added, and that he not be released on bail.
  • Contact the US Attorneys assigned to the case by mail, email or phone (contact info at Read more below) to urge that the charges be modified.

Why are we asking? On May 15th, 2020, Kozee Decorah celebrated her 3-month sobriety anniversary and was working hard to move back home to Wisconsin in the coming months. The very next day she was murdered in Winnebago, Nebraska, by her fiancé, Jonathan Daniel Rooney, who then mutilated her body.

On June 1, 2020, Rooney was charged with MANSLAUGHTER OCCURRING IN INDIAN COUNTRY for the death of Kozee Decorah – a minimal charge given the severity of the killing and the subsequent mutilation of her body.

Seeding Our Future: MMIW Solutions for Wisconsin

Posted in
Date: 
Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 2:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

This series of webinars is dedicated to finding solutions for missing and murdered indigenous women within Wisconsin through indigenous-led grassroots movements and collaboration across systems.

The same program will be offered at 3 different times, limited to 100 participants each:

Date  Registration Link
Monday, May 18, 3:00 pm https://bit.ly/2KRwomm
Friday, May 22, 6:00 pm https://bit.ly/2Sslis3
Saturday, May 23, 2:00 pm https://bit.ly/3f4XlRv

Topics discussed:

  • Strategic plan for MMIW-WI and feedback from tribal communities
  • Indigenous-led data
  • Toolkits for local efforts

Panelists:

  • Chris McKinney, Director of Government Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Pam Johnson, AIAA (American Indians Against Abuse)
  • Shira Phelps, Crime Victim Services, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Kristin Welch, MMIW Women's Leadership Cohort - Menīkānaehkem
  • Dr. Joseph Robertson, Mato Ohitika Analytics

Contact kwelch@menomineerebuilders.org with questions or concerns.

Seeding Our Future: MMIW Solutions for Wisconsin

Posted in
Date: 
Friday, May 22, 2020 - 6:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

This series of webinars is dedicated to finding solutions for missing and murdered indigenous women within Wisconsin through indigenous-led grassroots movements and collaboration across systems.

The same program will be offered at 3 different times, limited to 100 participants each:

Date  Registration Link
Monday, May 18, 3:00 pm https://bit.ly/2KRwomm
Friday, May 22, 6:00 pm https://bit.ly/2Sslis3
Saturday, May 23, 2:00 pm https://bit.ly/3f4XlRv

Topics discussed:

  • Strategic plan for MMIW-WI and feedback from tribal communities
  • Indigenous-led data
  • Toolkits for local efforts

Panelists:

  • Chris McKinney, Director of Government Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Pam Johnson, AIAA (American Indians Against Abuse)
  • Shira Phelps, Crime Victim Services, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Kristin Welch, MMIW Women's Leadership Cohort - Menīkānaehkem
  • Dr. Joseph Robertson, Mato Ohitika Analytics

Contact kwelch@menomineerebuilders.org with questions or concerns.

Seeding Our Future: MMIW Solutions for Wisconsin

Posted in
Date: 
Monday, May 18, 2020 - 3:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

This series of webinars is dedicated to finding solutions for missing and murdered indigenous women within Wisconsin through indigenous-led grassroots movements and collaboration across systems.

The same program will be offered at 3 different times, limited to 100 participants each:

Date  Registration Link
Monday, May 18, 3:00 pm https://bit.ly/2KRwomm
Friday, May 22, 6:00 pm https://bit.ly/2Sslis3
Saturday, May 23, 2:00 pm https://bit.ly/3f4XlRv

Topics discussed:

  • Strategic plan for MMIW-WI and feedback from tribal communities
  • Indigenous-led data
  • Toolkits for local efforts

Panelists:

  • Chris McKinney, Director of Government Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Pam Johnson, AIAA (American Indians Against Abuse)
  • Shira Phelps, Crime Victim Services, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Kristin Welch, MMIW Women's Leadership Cohort - Menīkānaehkem
  • Dr. Joseph Robertson, Mato Ohitika Analytics

Contact kwelch@menomineerebuilders.org with questions or concerns.

MMIW Task Force Bill - Public Hearing

Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 1:00pm
Location: 
Wisconsin State Capitol, Room 412 East, 2 E Main St, Madison

The Wisconsin State Assembly has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on AB 548, which would create a task force on missing/murdered tribal women and girls. This hearing is an important next step in authorizing and creating the task force!

Come to Madison on Wednesday, March 4, to show your support for the bill.

Can't attend the hearing? Show your support by signing this online petition.

The primary purpose of this task force is to reduce violence against Indigenous women, resolve and identify systemic causes and contributing factors of violence, and identify the root causes of gender-based violence against Indigenous people.

Vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Posted in
Date: 
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Houdini Plaza, 111 W College Ave, Appleton

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, their faces, vigil informationVigil in honor and memory of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

  • 5,712 incidents of murdered Native women in 2016
  • 84% of Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime
  • Murder is the third leading cause of death of Native women

Invocation: Denis Kenote

Keynote Speaker: Kristin Welch

Co-sponsored by ESTHER, Menīkānaekhem, Youth Climate Activists-Fox Valley, Megan Kelley Foundation

Questions? Call or text (920) 570-8589

Help spread the word. Download and share the attached flyer.

Justice for Missing or Murdered Tribal Women and Girls

Posted in

Tribal members protesting missing and murdered indigenous womenAssembly Bill 548 and Senate Bill 493*, which would create a task force on missing and murdered tribal women and girls, were introduced into the Wisconsin legislature on October 14 and referred to Assembly and Senate committees for further consideration. This is an important first step!

Menikanaehkem logo Why These Bills are Important:

Homicide is the third leading cause of death for Indigenous Women. More than half of Native American women report having been raped or assaulted. The media have largely been silent or, worse, blamed the victims. It is time to shine a light on this atrocity, and come together to work to end it.

Next step: Legislative hearings!

Join the women of Menīkānaehkem in contacting these committee chairs and asking them to hold hearings on these bills:

  • Rep. Rob Swearingen, Chair, Assembly Committee on State Affairs
    (608) 366-7141 or (888) 534-0034 Fax: (608) 266-3634
    Rep.Swearingen@legis.wisconsin.gov [⇐ click to send email]
    Room 123 West
    State Capitol
    PO Box 8953
    Madison, WI  53708
  • Sen. Duey Strobel, Chair, Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection
    (608) 266-7513 Fax: (608) 282-3560
    Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov [⇐ click to send email]
    Room 18 South
    State Capitol
    PO Box 7882
    Madison, WI  53707 

Read more about the bill and the legislators behind it in this Journal-Sentinel article.

Read more about Menīkānaehkem here.

Help spread the word: Download and share the attached flyer.

 

* These bills were drafted by Renee Gralewicz, professor of anthropology and Native American Studies at UW-Fox Valley and a peacemaker of the Brothertown Indian Nation of Fond du Lac; and Lisa Hurst, Native Peoples Outreach Advocate at Reach Counseling in Oshkosh, and a member of the Oneida Nation.

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