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Tribal crimes, issues are part of Lander meeting

Jul 22, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Wyoming is holding its ninth annual Wind River Native American conference next month in Lander.

The meeting will be Aug. 7-9 at Best Western Inn.

The conference for local, state, federal and tribal service providers and law enforcement aims at enhancing the effectiveness of their roles in working with crime victims.

U.S. Attorney's Office victim witness coordinator Shirley Martinez said the meeting is different from last year's gathering, which focused on empowering American Indian women.

"This year we will be addressing various topics," she said.

Next month's program will have presenters from a variety of disciplines and will provide the opportunity to discuss issues specific to American Indians. There will be panels and workshops about crime victim issues.

Sessions will focus on trauma and the effects of crime and victimization on the reservation, drunken-driving deaths, prescription drug deaths, bullying and cyber-bullying and sexual safety in foster care.

Other subjects include perpetrator profiles, violence against American Indian women, jurisdictional issues, American Indian lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community issues, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

Martinez said topics were decided by a committee consisting of individuals from various agencies on the Wind River Indian Reservation as well as other organizations in the state.

The group reviews suggestions made during the previous conference as well as emerging issues to determine themes.

The conference is free to attend, but registration is required by July 27. As of Thursday, 200 people had registered for the meeting, and Martinez said there were 50 seats still available.

Attendees are asked to check in between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The opening ceremony will be at 1 p.m. with drum groups from both tribes, and the first day's meeting will conclude at 5 p.m.

The conference will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8. The event will wrap up at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9.

The U.S. Attorney's Office partnered with several organizations to host the event. They include the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Business Councils.

For more information, contact Martinez at (307) 772-2124.

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