MAYETTA, KANSAS – Bea Hanson, Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office (DOJ) on Violence Against Women, made a special stop Tuesday to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) to meet with Tribal Council and the Tribal Victim Services (TVS) staff.
Hanson said that she wanted to learn firsthand what the Tribal Victim Services staff was up to this year as their past work had been exceptional. In 2013 the TVS won a National Crime Victims’ Rights Week award through the DOJ for their Healing Through Arts program. She also said that the professional and passionate work that the tribe is exhibiting in the area of preventing domestic violence is amazing and that the coordinated work at the local, state and national level is helping to create a model that she hopes other communities will follow.
During the meeting, Hanson discussed the date for future tribal consultation meetings and other issues her office is working on. In return, the TVS staff was introduced and briefly outlined their individual program assignments.
L to R (front row) Joyce Guerrero, Bea Hanson, Tom Wabnum. Back row (L to R) Terry McDaniel, Shirley Rice, Kent Miller, Samantha Wahwassuck, Rebekah Jones and Daniel Goombi. With Hanson is Guerrero and Wabnum who are on Tribal Council and the others are staff members of the Tribal Victim Services program.
Later in the meeting Hattie Mitchell, Jim Potter and Carrie O’Toole, Tribal Council members, joined the group.
Samantha Wahwassuck demonstrates the new SAFESTAR(Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Safety Training, and Resources) kit to Hanson at the meeting. The PBPN are one of two Native American communities in the U.S. that have six certified volunteers who can help victims of sexual assault after a potential crime occurs.
Dr. Suzanne Heck is the editor of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation newspaper, “Potawatomi News”.