by Selené Dobson
for Burns Times-Herald
The Burns Paiute Tribe Domestic Violence Department had a busy October, as it hosted several activities in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
For the entire month, a banner was on display for “The Light in the Window Project.” People who wanted to advocate against domestic violence were given a purple flameless candle to display in one of their windows. This was the third year that this event was held.
On Oct. 6, some of the staff participated in 1st Thursdays, along with staff from Harney Helping Organization for Personal Emergencies (HHOPE). In addition to serving hot dogs, hot drinks, and cupcakes, they shared domestic violence statistics for the state of Oregon and hosted a short candlelight vigil walk down Broadway Avenue in downtown Burns. The event also featured a free drawing, and tickets to an Oregon State University home game were among the prizes.
A documentary titled Listen to the Grandmothers was shown during the monthly Elder’s
breakfast on Oct. 7. The documentary depicts several Native American tribes speaking out against domestic violence,
explaining that it is not traditional behavior. The movie was created to encourage conversation for tribal communities to brainstorm solutions to an ever increasing problem.
Guests from Native Love were present for trainings, and they shared their media campaign during the powwow that was held Oct. 7-9. Native Love is an extension of the National Women’s Indigenous Resource Center (NWIRC). NWIRC is a nonprofit organization that was created specifically to serve as the National Indian Resource Center (NIRC) Addressing Domestic Violence and Safety for Indian Women. Native Love has been to Oregon one other time for the launch of its campaign in February of 2015. Videos and photos of the organization’s visit with the Burns Paiute Tribe can be found on Facebook.
On Oct. 19, staff and community members gathered to roast s’mores after releasing several large, lighted luminaries in honor of all victims of domestic violence.
The first ever Zombie Walk in Harney County was held Oct. 22. This event was for both
breast cancer and domestic violence awareness. People ages 3 and older came dressed as walking dead and enjoyed a sack lunch together after a short walk.
Cookies and punch were served at the Wadatika Health Office on Oct. 23 for an open house to help inform people about the services available within the Tribe’s domestic violence department. Three lucky winners received door prizes. Ideas were shared from attendees as well as information concerning current tribal laws that effect victims of domestic violence.
On Oct. 26, staff handed out candy and domestic violence information to adults and youth at the Red Ribbon
bonfire/dinner. A few contacts voiced interest in speaking with staff about steps to take to help loved ones.
The finale was a Halloween party held at the Burns Paiute Tribe Gathering Center, Saturday, Oct. 29. Festivities included costume, chili, and pumpkin-carving contests.
In all, these efforts help get information into the hands of a couple hundred people within our county.
The Burns Paiute Tribe Domestic Violence Department is always available to answer questions about what domestic violence looks like, its effects, and how to get help. For more information, call 541-413-0216.