GPTEC Success Story: Promoting Healing Through Self-Defense: A Response to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis
In response to this growing crisis, the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (GPTEC) hosted a self-defense training in partnership with Arming Sisters. Arming Sisters is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 by Patty Stonefish. Patty comes from a long line of matriarchs – Lakota, Russian, and Polish. She has over a decade of martial arts experience.
Patty’s day-long training covered topics of self-care, MMIWG, violence against Native American women, body language awareness, trusting intuition, vocalization, and stress responses. She also taught six self-defense moves. All these topics and moves were presented with an emphasis on healing and harnessing the power within oneself.
GPTEC received an overwhelming response to offering this training, with twenty tribal community members and GPTEC employees ultimately participating. This has garnered significant interest at the tribal level, with multiple additional trainings being planned in the future. Utilization of GPTEC funds to support implementation of this training also supported provision of the training in settings where funds are unavailable.
1. Rosay, A. B. (2016). Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men. National Institute of Justice Journal, 277.
2. Lucchesi, A., Echo-Hawk, A. (2019). Missing and murdered indigenous women & girls. Our Bodies, Our Stories.
Patty Stonefish, founder of Arming Sisters
For more about Arming Sisters, or to contact Patty: https://armingsisters.org/