Sacred Hoop Coalition

Tribal Domestic Violence Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women

The Sacred Hoop Coalition is a statewide Tribal Domestic Violence Coalition serving all 11 tribal communities as well as urban programs in the state of Minnesota. The purpose of our coalition is to build the capacity of survivors, advocates, Native women’s organizations and victim service providers to end violence against Native women.

We believe that community organizing and dialogue at the local level increases the opportunity to develop strong, cooperative working relationships with one another in the work to end violence against women in our communities. The challenge for our communities is to reclaim traditional views of women, developing culturally-based responses to intimate partner violence that ensure the safety of Native women and hold those who batter accountable for their use of violence.

The Sacred Hoop Coalition provides training, technical assistance, and resources to tribal communities in Minnesota organizing to address domestic violence. It is our goal to build community-based responses that address violence against Indian women; keeping their voices at the forefront of our work.

Sacred Hoop Coalition Staff

Alyxis Feltus

Grand Portage Ojibwe (Sacred Hoop Tribal Coalition Outreach Coordinator). Alyxis is committed to ending all forms of violence against Native women and children. She has been a member of the Sacred Hoop Coalition since 2010, while working as the Native women’s resource advocate for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) in Duluth, MN. As the Native women’s advocate, Alyxis provided direct services to domestic violence victims and facilitated the women’s education group for domestic violence survivors. She also coordinated and facilitated DAIP’s Women’s Non-Violence Program (a group for women arrested for use of force against an intimate partner), and the Council on Non-Violence, a coordinated community response to domestic violence between Carlton County and the Fond du Lac Reservation in northeastern MN. Alyxis is a graduate of Praxis International’s Advocacy Institute and is currently in the Blandin Foundation’s Reservation Community Leadership Program. She coordinated the Greater Northern Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force sub-committee on the trafficking of Native women in northeastern MN and is a founding member of the Native Sisters Society, which focuses on the impact of sex trafficking of Native women within Duluth, MN and the surrounding areas. Alyxis has a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies, with a minor in natural history from the University of Minnesota Duluth. During her internship with the Fond du Lac Cultural Museum, Alyxis helped in gathering the natural resources to build a birch bark canoe and learned about birch bark baskets, quill work, beading, moccasin making and plant uses. To keep balanced, Alyxis follows the Ojibwe traditions and spiritual practices.

Nikki Allen

Cree, Multi-ethnic (Sacred Hoop Coalition Training and Resources Coordinator). Nikki is passionate about ending violence against all women and fighting for the most vulnerable among us: indigenous, two-spirit/ LGBT and women of color. She first began working on women’s issues as a volunteer in fund development and crisis-lines for several Iron Range women’s organizations as a teen. Nikki studied at the College of St. Scholastica and is currently working on a master’s degree in non-profit administration. Over the years, she has managed and worked with dozens of non-profits; developing boards and funds, creating new programs and curricula, designing projects, coordinating direct actions, providing direct service and advocacy, collaborating on legislation, consultation and public outreach. She loves utilizing her talent for writing and her passing privilege to be a voice for people who have often been silenced through generations of systemic oppression and trauma.  After spending two years living on Lake Vermillion, on the Bois Forte Reservation, Nikki has returned to her family farm where she’s cultivating a sustainable lifestyle, writing, and learning about natural healing.

Rachel Goodsky – Noodiinikwi (Windwoman)

Anishinaabe – Marten Clan, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (Sacred Hoop Coalition Membership Outreach Coordinator). Rachel grew up moving between the South Minneapolis Phillips neighborhood and the Leech Lake Reservation in Northern Minnesota. She has been working to address domestic violence and sexual assault since 2003, most recently as a DV advocate for the Dabinoo’Igan Shelter and as a case manager for the Giiwe Mobil Team at the American Indian Housing Organization in Duluth, MN. Rachel is a graduate of the Sacred Hoop Coalition’s Aboriginal Focus-Oriented Complex Trauma (AFOT) Training. She loves helping people and she relates to everyone, so this work is second nature. Rachel and her family are traditional; she loves beading, sewing, and the summer pow wows. She has three young children who dance and she’ll be dancing too.

Aubrey Lundquist

Anishinaabe (Mending the Sacred Hoop Office Assistant). Aubrey grew up on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Northern Minnesota. She has been living in Duluth since she was 16, in order to mend her relationship with her mother after her mother finally escaped the violence. A graduate of the Aboriginal Focus-Oriented Complex Trauma (AFOT) Training, Aubrey started working for Mending the Sacred Hoop in December 2017 and divides her time between the Sacred Hoop Coalition and the TA Project. She has witnessed violence in the home and is also a survivor of sexual and domestic abuse and neglect, which drives her to help others. Aubrey has four years of experience in advocacy, working for the online support group Sober IndianZ, a group of over 650,000 people and growing, helping to end addiction in Indigenous communities from North America to New Zealand. Aubrey has an unconditional love for, and is committed to helping, all communities end violence.

StrongHearts Native Helpline

Need to talk? The StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-762-8483) is a safe, anonymous and confidential service for Native Americans affected by domestic violence and dating violence. Advocates are available at no cost Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time when you are ready to reach out. StrongHearts offers immediate peer-to-peer support, crisis intervention, safety planning and referrals to culturally-appropriate resources. Visit for more information on abuse types and behaviors.

Coalition Trainings & Events

Check back regularly for the latest in workshops and trainings that are offered!

Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Certificate (AFOTCT) Training Duluth, MN Begins April 2018 More Information»

Minnesota Coalitions Statement on Sex Trafficking

As the five statewide coalitions that work on crime victim issues in Minnesota, we have affirmatively come together to coordinate our work on the sexual exploitation of minors and adults. Our coalitions are:

Our coalitions each work on sexual exploitation issues — sexual exploitation of minors and adults. While each of us has unique ways that we address sex trafficking and have special areas of focus, we believe that it is beneficial for us to do this coalition work in a coordinated fashion. We as Coalitions are working together to provide a strong network of support to sustain the effort to address sex trafficking in the state of Minnesota.

What does this mean? We will be coordinating the work between and amongst our Coalitions. We will each continue to have specific areas of expertise and areas where we focus our work.

Jointly as Coalitions we will:

  • Convene our member programs who are working specifically on sex trafficking issues in order to provide more direct support and assistance to their work.
  • Have common website information. Each of our websites will feature the same sex trafficking page that provides information and resources.
  • Coordinate our public awareness and public policy work as it relates to sex trafficking.
  • Coordinate our responses to requests for training and technical assistance in order to maximize our resources and provide the best assistance possible.

We will work to maintain a sustainable focus and a strong network around sexual exploitation issues. We are excited to be coordinating our work on sex trafficking and look forward to furthering our work with all of our member programs and with our community partners. For more information about this joint coalition work, please contact any one of our Coalitions.

The Sacred Hoop Coalition views sex trafficking as violence against women. Native women are disproportionately represented as being victimized by this crime. As a coalition we are committed to “building the capacity of survivors, advocates, Native women’s organizations, victim service providers and programs to end violence against Native women, including victims of sex trafficking.”

Currently as a coalition, we are actively working towards ending sex trafficking of Native women by:

  • Providing statewide education and training on sex trafficking specific to Native American women and their communities;
  • Partnering with local organizations, both tribal and non-tribal, to work on issues victims face regarding sex trafficking;
  • Locating statewide sex trafficking resources and collaborating locally to create resources for our membership;
  • Bringing awareness to the violence that trafficking brings to our Native sisters and ensure that their voices are leading our work.

It is our goal to bring healing to our Native sisters and stand arm and arm against the violence being perpetrated against them and stop sex trafficking within our tribal communities both on and off the reservation.

Alyxis Feltus, The Sacred Hoop Coalition

Nicole Mathews, MN Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition

Donna Dunn, MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Liz Richards, MN Coalition for Battered Women

Deb Jessen, Minnesota Alliance on Crime

The Sacred Hoop Coalition is supported by Grant No. 2016-IW-AX-0014 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Dept. of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.


Working to End Violence Against Native American Women

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