Skip to main content

Native Peoples

May 5 Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Posted in

News Release
April 27, 2021

Oshkosh Bridge Lights Turn Red on May 5th to Honor
Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Oshkosh, Wisconsin - Bridge lights across the city will turn red at dusk on Wednesday, May 5 to commemorate the Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This local and national day of action serves to draw attention to the underreported and disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. All community members are invited to a vigil and lighting ceremony at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, May 5, at Riverside Park in Oshkosh. The event will also be live-streamed via the ESTHER Facebook page

Too long our communities have been silent about the high incidence of violence against indigenous peoples, especially women, girls, and two-spirit people. In 2016, the National Crime Information Center reported nearly 6,000 cases of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, yet the U.S. Department of Justice was tracking only about 100 cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the third leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women between 10 and 24 years of age and the fifth leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native women between 25 and 34 years of age.

Action for Healing and Justice for MMIWG2S

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 (All day)

ESTHER and Waking Women Healing Institute are teaming up to help create awareness for MMIW and ask that you join us in this cause. We are petitioning agencies, towns, villages, cities, counties and tribal nations to make public proclamations declaring May 5th as Day of Awareness for Missing Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit. In addition to the proclamation, we ask that, within your area, you light up structures/bridges/buildings red as a sign of respect, healing, and awareness of the many issues of MMIW.

Please sign this petition on The petition will be used to show widespread support for MMIW, and hopefully induce urgency to create meaningful changes to bring both justice and healing.

Watch for information about a Facebook Live event in Oshkosh on May 5, sponsored by ESTHER’s Mental Health Task Force and Oshkosh ESTHER.

Global Developments in the Rights of Nature: Tribal Nations

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Zoom Meeting

Hosted by the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights.

Join in this fantastic free webinar with Frank Bibeau, Attorney for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and with Honor the Earth, and Guy Reiter, Executive Director of Menīkānaehkem and Menominee Indian Organizer, both of whom have worked with the center for CDER.

Frank and Guy are advancing the rights of nature in tribal law and governance – including Frank’s work with the White Earth Band’s “Rights of Manoomin” law, and Guy with the “Rights of the Menominee River” resolution. Both may be found in CDER’s law library.

The webinar will be held on Zoom. All are welcome. No charge. Register here.

Sustainable Saturday Night: Indigenous-Led Resistance to Extraction Industries

Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Zoom Meeting

ESTHER’s Environmental Justice Task Force is pleased to bring this event your attention

About this eventOur Revolution

Extraction industries are destroying people and planet for the profit of a few. Whether it's Enbridge’s Line 3 and Line 5 to carry dirty tar sands oil across Wisconsin for export or the Back Forty metallic sulfide mine that threatens the Menominee River, extraction is running rampant in our state with little to no oversight.

But the people, led by indigenous groups, are fighting back. In this event, Our Wisconsin Revolution is joining with Building Unity’s Sustainable Saturday Night series to present a town hall on Indigenous-Led Resistance to Extraction Industries.

Join us for the first half hour to hear original music about Line 3 from singer-songwriter Larry Long, as well as testimony from two recent visitors to the Line 3 resistance camps: Justice Peche, OWR board member and Green Bay chapter leader, and Tim Cordon, Social Justice Coordinator at First Unitarian Society of Madison.

Then our program will get underway at 6:30 p.m. with a lineup of speakers that includes:

Vigil: Taking a Stand for Our Land and Bodies

Posted in
Sunday, February 14, 2021 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Zoom Event with Livestream


Missing Murdered Indigenous WomenFacebook Video ThumbnailA Virtual Rally and Webinar

With Live Rally Participation from Appleton and Madison

If you were unable to participate in the rally, you can now watch the recording on Facebook here


Partners: ESTHER, Waking Women Healing Institute, Native Justice Coalition, WCASA, Menominee County HSD Family Advocacy Center, Lorraine Shooter-M.A.D., Native Lives Matter Coalition

Logos of event partners

Kristin Welch Will Receive ESTHER’s Community Leadership Award

We Are Proud to Present this Award to Kristen Welch

ESTHER is proud to present its Community Leadership Award to Kristen Welch a member of the Menominee Nation. She  is a trained Community Organizer with the Indigenous led non-profit Menīkānaehkem, and she is also a lead organizer for the Womens Leadership Cohort MMIW. Her work includes revitalizing traditional matriarchal roles within indigenous communities through identity work, systems change, and advocacy for survivors of violence. 

The Women's Leadership Cohort Combats the Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

The Womens Leadership Cohort combats the MMIW epidemic by creating access to traditional knowledge, community organizing, policy change and community education. Kristin helps provide training in advocacy skills, power mapping, policy work, wellness work, and group facilitation, to empower Indigenous women organizers to create meaningful campaigns for social change.

Many Years of Experience in Mental Health Work

She currently sits on the Governors Council on Mental Health and is the co-chair for the Adult Quality Committee.  She has 10 years of experience in mental health, family wrap around care (CST), AODA prevention, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault advocacy before becoming a grassroots organizer. 

Work Using Traditional Native American Methods and Approaches

She is a proud mother of three, and a member of the healing society Three Fires Confederacy Midewewin Lodge.  She believes strongly that creating partnerships with both formal and informal supports within tribal communities will help build and strengthen an Ecosystem of Care that is equitable, easily accessible, and sustainable. Her work utilizes Indigenous wellness models that offer alternate pathways to healing and are critical for healing and recovery work within tribal communities and for those who serve Indigenous peoples.

When asked why she chose this work, Kristen replied, “We got started out of a necessity.  So many women and families were impacted directly or indirectly.  We had to make sure that Indigenous women were leading the fight and lifting up our families.”


Advocating for the Rights of Nature

Monday, October 26, 2020 - 6:30pm
Zoom Meeting

Advocating for the Rights of Nature

Mari Margil

A presentation and discussion with Mari Margil, Executive Director of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights. No charge. All are welcome

Registration required. Zoom link will be sent before the event to all who register.

Register Now

Cancelled -- Racial Justice Talking Circle

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday, October 2, 2020 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
Appleton Memorial Park, 1620 E Witzke Blvd, Appleton

The Native Justice Coalition, Menīkānaehkem, and ESTHER regret to announce we will be canceling our talking circles in Appleton due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Menominee Nation, Fox Valley, and the surrounding area. We will not be rescheduling these events in 2020, but plan on doing work in the Menominee Nation and Fox Valley in 2021.

Racial Justice Talking CirclesJoin members of Menīkānaehkem, the Native Justice Coalition and ESTHER in talking together about racial justice.

Update: Both events will be held at Memorial Park in Appleton.

(The similar event planned for Menīkānaehkem in Gresham on October 2 has been moved to the Appleton location due to COVID-19 restrictions on the Menominee Reservation.)

This event will be held outside, and community agreements will be in place that follow the CDC and State of Wisconsin COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Travel assistance is available. Gift cards and lunch are provided.

Please see attached agenda for more information about the event.

Please register in advance at Attendance limited to twenty-five people each day.


Help spread the word - download and share the attached flier!

Addiction Recovery Coach Training

CCAR Recovery Coach Academy

CCAR Training LogoThe CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© (RCA) is a 5-day intensive training academy designed to provide individuals with an understanding of both the art and science of recovery coaching. The Recovery Coach Academy includes core competencies for recovery coaches with training on ethics, boundaries, medication-assisted treatment, gambling, and more. By focusing on the goals of the individuals being served, participants will learn the key fundamentals of this rewarding work – which CCAR has identified as actively listening, asking really good questions, and treating people as their own best resource, all while discovering and managing their own stuff.

Recognized nationally as the original and leading recovery offering of its kind, CCAR’s Recovery Coach Academy is an innovative new approach to healing people’s lives that is unlike any other training. This training provides 30 CEUs awarded from the Connecticut Certification Board and recognized in WI.

The training will take place digitally via Adobe Connect on Sept 14-18, 2020, from 11:00 am-3:00 pm daily, with additional pre-work assigned daily. (Click here to review the minimum computer system requirements to participate in the training.)

The cost of the training is $200 and includes access to all 5 days of the training, 1 RCA Manual and 30 CEUs. The training is being offered at a reduced cost in part because of grants and other generous contributions. (This training typically costs $850.)

Register Now

This training is being hosted by ESTHER in partnership with Menīkānaehkem and presented by Helios Recovery Services.

Once registered and paid, participants will be asked to create an account on the CCAR Protraxx training system to track attendance and administer the certificate of competition.

For additional information regarding registration, please contact Bill Van Lopik

For information regarding the training, Protraxx, or Helios Recovery please contact Jesse Heffernan:

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.

Syndicate content