Tlingit and Haida violence against women co-chair picked for federal post

She’s happy to be that voice.

Courtesy Photo/ Tlingit and Haida                                Catherine Edwards was appointed to the federal Task Force on Research on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women.

Courtesy Photo/ Tlingit and Haida Catherine Edwards was appointed to the federal Task Force on Research on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women.

Alaska will have a vocal advocate on a federal task force that helps shape research into violence against Alaska Native and Native American women.

Catherine Edwards, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s sixth vice president and co-chair of Tlingit and Haida’s Violence Against Women Task Force, was recently approved by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to serve on the Task Force on Research on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women.

“I was more than happy to be this voice,” Edwards said from Tacoma in a video interview.

[March and rally ends the silence]

The task force, sometimes called the Section 904 Task Force, was authorized by the federal Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act and established in 2008. It advises the Department of Justice National Institute of Justice program’s research agenda, according to the Department of Justice.

Task force members are expected to attend one-to-two-day meetings, be prepared to discuss materials distributed in advance of each meeting and to draft written recommendations and reports, according to the Office of Violence Against Women’s call for nominations to the task force. Edwards said the first meeting she will participate in will be virtual.

Edwards said that without the work of Tlingit and Haida’s Violence Against Women Task Force she would not be in a position to serve on the federal task force.

“I’m the one who got appointed, but it’s their work that I bring with me,” Edwards said.

Edwards said Tlingit and Haida is often at the table with federal entities and is proactive whether the issue is violence against women, transboundary issues, salmon or marine mammals. She said Tlingit and Haida makes sure not only that tribal citizens have their voices heard but that agencies are mindful of the hundreds of other federally recognized tribes in Alaska.

During Edwards’ appointment she hopes to encourage consideration of Indigenous ideas for how to solve problems within Indigenous communities and to move toward using existing data to realize programs to mitigate cyclical violence in Alaskan communities.

“We need to get past the research and the studies and really put some things into actions so that we can really mitigate the problem,” Edwards said. “This is not about the data, this is about you taking care of this epidemic, this pandemic in our community. This is a real-life problem, not just some numbers.”

Edwards’ selection was warmly welcomed by Tlingit and Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson.

“As co-chair for Tlingit and Haida’s Violence Against Women Task Force and with her extensive work in domestic violence, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and drug prevention programs, Catherine will be an invaluable asset to this federal advisory committee,” Peterson said in a news release. “It’s important that we do everything we can to address violence against Indigenous women to protect future generations. With Catherine’s broad range of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women knowledge, I have full faith that she will be instrumental in representing the views and interests of not only Tlingit and Haida, but all Indigenous women.”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 8

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

The sky and mountains are reflected in the water on April 5, 2012, at the Kootznoowoo Wilderness in the Tongass National Forest’s Admiralty Island National Monument. Conservation organizations bought some private land and transferred it to the U.S. Forest Service, resulting in an incremental expansion of the Kootznoowoo Wilderness and protection of habitat important to salmon and wildlife. (Photo by Don MacDougall/U.S. Forest Service)
Conservation groups’ purchase preserves additional land in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

A designated wilderness area in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest… Continue reading

A welcome sign is shown Sept. 22, 2021, in Tok. President Joe Biden won Alaska’s nominating contest on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Biden wins more delegates in Alaska and Wyoming as he heads toward Democratic nomination

President Joe Biden nudged further ahead in the Democratic nomination for reelection… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly members and other visitors examine a meeting room formerly used by the nine-member Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Monday, April 8, which is about 25% larger than the Assembly Chambers at City Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Of three possible new City Hall buildings, one stands out — but plenty of proposed uses for other two

Michael J. Burns Building eyed as city HQ; childcare, animal shelter among options at school sites.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, speaks to members of the Senate majority caucus’ leadership group on Friday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Schools, university and projects across Alaska are set to receive money from new budget bill

Alaska Senate sends draft capital budget to House as work continues on a state spending plan

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska judge strikes down state’s cash payments to families using correspondence school programs

Decision will become a ‘hot-button legislative item’ in final weeks of session, lawmakers say.

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau man convicted of sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl more than four years after incidents occur

JPD: Randy James Willard, 39, sent explicit videos to and engaged in sexual contact with victim.

Capital Transit buses stop at the Valley Transit Center on Thursday. Two bus routes serving areas of the Mendenhall Valley and near the airport will temporarily be discontinued starting April 22 due to lack of staff. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Capital Transit temporarily suspending two Mendenhall Valley routes due to shortage of drivers

Officials hope to fix situation by July; extra tourist buses also scaled back due to fleet shortage.

A fenced lot proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness located next to the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, in the background, is also next door to a businesses where extensive construction is scheduled, thus prompting city leaders to rethink the proposal. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
Indefinite ‘dispersed camping’ for homeless proposed by city leaders due to lack of suitable campsite

Proposed Rock Dump site is next to long-term construction, more costly than expected, report states.

Most Read