Chief Justice to Attend Trilateral Work Group Meeting on
Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls
Juneau, AK  (September 7, 2018) – Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's (Tlingit & Haida) Chief Justice Michelle Demmert will be a part of a United States Delegation attending the Third Meeting of the North American Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls that will take place October 2-3, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. Chief Justice Demmert was invited to participate by the U.S. Department of Justice based on her role as the co-chair of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Violence Against Women (VAW) Task Force and for her many other roles as an advocate and community leader. 
The working group’s upcoming meeting builds on two previous meetings held where leadership from the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States engaged in dialogue and made a trilateral commitment to address the scourge of violence against Indigenous women and girls that exists across North America. The representation of the three countries and focus of the working group is to improve collaboration, information sharing, and leveraging of resources to enhance transnational responses to violent crimes against Indigenous women and girls.

In advance of the upcoming meeting, all three countries have agreed to a set of deliverables along the technical discussion themes: 1) criminal justice responses including access to justice and law enforcement coordination; and human trafficking; 2) social services, and public health prevention and responses; 3) data collection and research efforts to improve evidence; and 4) human rights, women, peace, and security: prioritizing Indigenous women and girls in multilateral affairs.

“I am extremely proud of Chief Justice Demmert and her leadership,” said President Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson. “We must do everything we can to improve criminal justice responses to violence against Indigenous women and girls and protect future generations of our Indigenous women from experiencing violence. This is a great opportunity to directly connect with other Indigenous advocates, as well as provide information to government representatives on the high rates of domestic and sexual violence against our Alaska Native women.”

Chief Justice Demmert will be joined by representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the State Department, as well as a full and direct representation of Indigenous leaders, advocates and survivors.

“I am honored to work on behalf of Indigenous women and to bring their voice forward so that our three countries can improve coordination and partnership, strengthen the infrastructure to enhance safety and justice systems, and ultimately guarantee the protection and safety all women and girls deserve,” said Chief Justice Demmert.

Chief Justice Demmert was appointed as co-chair of the NCAI VAW Task Force in 2018, serves as the Law and Policy Consultant for the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and has been Tlingit & Haida’s Tribal Court Chief Justice since 2016. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology and a Juris Doctorate. She is a licensed attorney in Washington State and has previously served as a Chief Judge and Administrator for the Northwest Intertribal Court System and Reservation Attorney for the Tulalip Tribe in Washington State. She is the daughter of Sharon and the late Lawrence Demmert Sr. of Klawock, Alaska. Her Tlingit name is Jaagal Aat and she is Ch'aak' (Eagle) from the Kaax'oos.hittaan (Man's Foot) clan and the child of the Taakw.aaneidi .
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