Empowering Indigenous Women and Communities Through Self-Defense
Self-defense training promotes body-oriented healing and practical safety planning. Feminist empowerment approaches to self-defense teach a wide range of resistance strategies, which include assertive communication, boundary setting, de-escalation, strategic physical escape, and physical resistance. Empowerment-based programs emphasize choice and resilience while actively challenging victim-blaming. Research shows that empowerment self-defense programs reduce trauma symptoms, help survivors find their voices, and prevent sexual assault. This webinar presents one of the few empowerment self-defense programs that is located on sovereign tribal land and led by indigenous women. The Turtle Mountain Chippewa reservation in rural North Dakota is home to an emerging IMPACT self-defense program. Presenters will describe their collaborative efforts to develop an IMPACT program that is culturally relevant and geographically accessible to rural indigenous women and girls. Featuring representatives from the National Resource Center Innovations Grant, Shanda Poitra and Meg Stone.