Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $550,000)
The Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Appropriations Act, 2019 created a 5% set-aside to improve crime victim services in Indian country in the Crime Victims Fund receipts that the Office for Victims of Crime used to make grant awards in Fiscal Year 2019. Project Beacon: Increasing Services to Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Victims of Sex Trafficking (Project Beacon) furthers the goal of the set-aside funding by increasing the quantity and quality of holistic, victim-centered services available to assist American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking. The funds awarded under this cooperative agreement will be used to provide capacity-building training and technical assistance to Project Beacon grantees who have received funding to develop comprehensive services for American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking.
The Minnesota Indian Womens Sexual Assault Coalition (MISWAC) is a 501(c)(3) tribal sexual assault coalition based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. MISWAC was founded in 2001 with a grant from the Office on Violence Against Womens Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition Program, and for nearly 20 years, has focused on developing the capacity of tribal communities to meet the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native victims of all forms of sexual violence, including sex trafficking, by incorporating traditional cultural and spiritual practices into the response to these crimes. MISWACs work has focused on coordinating and promoting appropriate systemic responses to sexual violence committed against Native women in the State of Minnesota, as well as providing training and technical assistance to a national audience of tribes, and urban tribal nonprofits on topics related to sexual assault and sex trafficking. Additionally, MISWACs staff served as co-principal investigators in a ground-breaking research study on sex trafficking and prostitution involving urban American Indian and Alaska Native women in Minnesota, that has served as the basis for much of their training and technical assistance work designed to build the capacity of tribal governments and nonprofit organizations to provide trauma-informed, victim-centered services to Native victims of sex trafficking.
With funding from this award, MISWAC, and its collaborative partners, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and the University of Southern Maine, will: (1) provide a .80 FTE Project Coordinator to provide day-to-day oversight and coordinate all project activities; (2) plan and conduct an annual training and technical assistance assessment and develop a customized training and technical assistance plan for each Project Beacon direct services grantee; (3) plan and conduct an annual two-day grantee meeting for the Project Beacon direct services grantees, as well as monthly webinars on topics related to developing the grantees capacity to coordinate the provision of comprehensive services for American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking; (4) plan and conduct an annual two-day, on-site training and technical assistance visit for each Project Beacon direct services grantee; and (5) assist each Project Beacon direct services grantee with completing its required award deliverables.