Mission: To provide culturally specific emergency services and support to all who have experienced trauma from domestic, sexual, and/or dating violence, while empowering Native American communities to put an end to all forms of violence through education and prevention services.
About the Organization: Founded in 1982 in St. Paul as a community-based program focused on assisting Native American women in obtaining orders of protection and advocating on their behalf with law enforcement and judicial and social service systems, Women of Nations opened its Eagles' Nest Shelter in 1992 — the first shelter in the state to serve Native American women and their children and today one of the few culturally specific shelter programs in the United States that is not reservation based.
Current Programs: WoN's programs and services include a crisis hotline (651-222-5836) that received thirty-three hundred calls in 2015 and Eagles' Nest, a 44-bed emergency shelter where women often arrive directly from the emergency room with co-occurring disorders, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse. The shelter provides trauma-informed care, psychoeducational workshops, and case managers who are trained to help battered women set goals and begin rebuilding their lives.
The organization's cultural program includes the use of Native American spirituality, healing ceremonies, and cultural customs to facilitate the healing process. Women who end up at Eagle's Nest have the opportunity to participate in sweat lodges, discuss their experiences in talking circles, celebrate moon and pipe ceremonies, and strengthen their connections to cultural traditions that can help empower them to leave unhealthy relationships.
In addition, the organization's outreach and community engagement program provides support, access to resources, and legal advocacy to survivors of domestic violence during and after their stay at the shelter. Ongoing assistance provided by WoN includes support groups, one-one-one counseling, and home visits.
Website: Visitors to the WoN site can learn how to identify red flags that indicate abusive relationships and access a list of reasons to leave, learn how to ensure their own and their children's safety, download a list of items to take when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and learn more about what to expect at the shelter. They also can subscribe to the organization's newsletter, get involved by signing up to be a volunteer in the organization's advocacy or childcare programs, and/or make a donation.
Funding: Women of Nations is funded by foundations, nonprofits, and individuals.