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Plenary session

Voices That Strung Together Beauty


Violence impacts approximately 730,000 American Indian and Alaska Native lives each year. This public health emergency encompasses verbal, domestic, physical, spiritual and sexual violence and has lifelong effects on women and their extended Native community. 

Violence, in all its forms, is part of the historical and ongoing legacy of colonization that is perpetuated by historical trauma and historical grief for Native women. This violence is manifested through the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This presentation will present the Urban Indian Health Institute’s “Our Bodies, Our Stories” reports on sexual violence and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

These groundbreaking data reports have provided key information illustrating the need for further research, awareness, prevention and policy interventions for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 


Abigail Echo-Hawk

Abigail Echo Hawk

Abigail Echo-Hawk

Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA (Pawnee), she was born in the heart of Alaska where she was raised in the traditional values of giving, respect for all and love. Ms. Echo-Hawk currently serves as the Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, and the Chief Research Officer at the Seattle Indian Health Board. Urban Indian Health Institute is a Tribal Epidemiology Center that serves tribal people currently living off tribal lands nationwide. 

In addition, in UIHI’s role as the National Coordinating Center for Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country, she also works with approximately 100 tribal nations. Her work incorporates these core principles and activities: engagement and participation of community partners; research and evaluation on health, healthcare, and other community priorities; education, training, and capacity-building for Native people, including researchers, students, and communities; infrastructure development; technical assistance; and sharing results in a way that recognizes and respects the unique cultural contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native people. 

In these roles she also works with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and organizations to identify health research priorities and with health researchers to ensure research is done in a manner that respects tribal sovereignty and is culturally appropriate.

This conference is produced under #2016-MU-MU-K153, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed in this conference are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice. 
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