Mending the Sacred Hoop is a Native-owned and operated non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that exists to address violence against Native women and works to end it. We organize on issues surrounding violence against American Indian/Alaska Native women in our home community of Duluth, MN and throughout the State of Minnesota. We also work with Tribes and Native communities nationally that are addressing the issues of domestic and sexual violence, dating violence, sex trafficking and stalking in their communities. We provide training to strengthen Tribal and Native community responses to these crimes, including the advocacy and systems responses, community understanding and awareness, engaging men in the work to end violence against women, and coordinating community responses that provide for women’s safety and uphold offender accountability.
What Frames Our Work
- Native women are the highest victimized population in the United States by perpetrators of all races. (Bureau of Crime Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. American Indians and Crime Report. Washington: 1999).
- Violence against women is a social problem that affects individuals, families, and communities (including schools, medical, and judicial institutions), and as such, requires societal change.
- Domestic and sexual violence is about establishing power and maintaining control.
- Colonization is based in a belief that one group has the right to exert their will over another and use people and resources for their own gain.
- Acculturated values and beliefs have eroded our Indigenous structures and lifeways.
- We have to reclaim our own Indigenous teachings on culture and values to create social change in and for our communities.
Mending the Sacred Hoop does not provide emergency services. We do not provide advocacy for individual women. Victims/survivors can contact us for direction to the appropriate resource such as the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1.844.7NATIVE), the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1.800.799.SAFE) or the Rape and Abuse and Incest National Network (1.800.656.HOPE). If you are in immediate danger, contact 911.
Mending the Sacred Hoop Symbol
One of the most powerful Native American symbols for wellness and creative problem solving is the circle or hoop. This symbol represents wholeness, health, and harmony with one’s self, family, community, nation, and the universe. Perhaps the best example of consciousness of the circle can be found in the book Black Elk Speaks. Black Elk observes:
“Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle.
The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.
The moon does the same, and both are round.
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.
Our tepees were round like the nests of birds and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.”
Over a hundred years ago Black Elk had a vision of the time when Indian people would heal from the devastating effects of European migration. In his vision, the Sacred Hoop which had been broken would be mended in seven generations. The children born into this decade will be the seventh generation.
The Mending the Sacred Hoop logo represents the healing of our communities based on the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. Each section of the Medicine Wheel represents one of the four cardinal directions with a corresponding color. The outer rim represents the Sacred Hoop as being broken, yet with the ribbon symbolizing our work we are in the process of mending it. The turtle represents Earth, North America / Turtle Island, wisdom, longevity and woman. As women are at the center of our work, our families, and communities we place the turtle in the center of the Sacred Hoop.
Mending the Sacred Hoop, Inc. is supported by the U. S. Dept. of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women; the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs; and generous contributions from individual donors. Miigwech!