For the past seven years, native women from all over the country, and from all stages of life, have come together in a collective show of support for one another at WEWIN’s (Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations) eighth annual conference.
This year, the eighth annual WEWIN Conference will take place at the Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota on August 20-23. Susan Masten, founder and co-president, says WEWIN was created to be a positive place for native women to network, as well as share knowledge and experiences.
“Native women didn’t have a strong network of support, and I thought it was time they did.” Masten, who is a member of the Yurok tribe and lives in Hoopa, California, has been a strong leader and fierce advocate of native people for more than 27 years. She is currently running for a national position as vice-chairman of the Yurok.
Hundreds of native women of all ages are expected to attend the four-day conference—from tribal leaders and small business owners to women in government, education and those simply looking for community. “We’ve had sisters, mothers, daughters and grandmothers who have attended in the past,” says Masten. The youngest attendee was a 6-year-old girl.
Many female tribal leaders and dignitaries will speak and conduct workshops on topics important to native women, such as tribal leadership, owning a business, executive coaching, financial management and domestic violence. Masten says she hopes this year’s conference will give women the tools they need to be effective leaders and create lifelong friendships.
There could be a bonus, too. “Many past attendees have found jobs, contracts and referrals at WEWIN,” Masten claims.
Early registration costs $350, which includes the conference fee, membership, breakfast and lunch. Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel is offering a special room discount for WEWIN attendees for just $79/night.
For more details about the WEWIN conference, and to see the complete four-day agenda, go to wewin04.org.