BIA Announces Emergency Funding for Emmonak Women’s Shelter in Alaska

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) recently provided the Emmonak Women’s Shelter in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Emmonak, Alaska with a one-time emergency fund of $50,000 to help prevent the village’s only facility offering domestic violence protection from having to close its doors according to a BIA press release.

“By providing this one-time funding, the Bureau of Indian Affairs re-emphasizes the Administration’s support for the prevention of domestic violence,” Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure said in the release. “The protection of American Indian and Alaska Native victims of domestic violence is a priority for me and Secretary Salazar, and it is important that the Emmonak Women’s Shelter be able to continue offering help to those who need it.”

The facility has been serving families in the Emmonak region for 34 years, including 13 rural villages, and reportedly serves about 500 women and children each year. The facility currently operates under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, “but is not expected to receive notification of new awards until September,” according to the release.

The funding from the BIA was provided to the Emmonak Village, a federally recognized tribe, under its Tribal Priority Allocation authority and the tribe will then give the funds to the shelter.

Situated about 500 air miles northwest of the city of Anchorage, Emmonak Village’s shelter is one of two in the state that offers domestic violence shelter and services for Alaska Natives living in rural areas. The second one is Tundra Women’s Coalition in Bethel, several hundred miles from Emmonak.

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