ONE FIRE Victim Advocates Program

The ONE FIRE program offers culturally grounded support to help survivors recover and rebuild their lives while also advocating to end cycles of violence.

By Honoring Nations

Honoring Nations 2021 Awardee

Cherokee Nation ONE FIREHonoring Nations

Domestic violence survivors

The largest tribe by population in the US, the Cherokee Nation experiences persistently high rates of domestic violence, and Native women are particularly vulnerable victims of crime.  Oklahoma is among the top 10 states nationally for the rate at which women are murdered by men.

Native women are two and a half times more likely than non-Native women to lack access to domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and response services. Ten years ago, there were few places specifically dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in northeast Oklahoma. Local non-tribal organizations had a limited understanding of Cherokee culture and were unequipped to deal with the legacy of intergenerational trauma.

Cherokee Nation ONE FIREHonoring Nations

A tribal service agency

The late Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Charles L. Head proposed streamlining aid for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and dating violence. In 2013, the Nation launched ONE FIRE.

Cherokee Nation ONE FIREHonoring Nations

Standing for "Our Nation Ending Fear, Intimidation, Rape, and Endangerment," ONE FIRE serves as a single point of contact for all survivors.

Survivors living within the Cherokee Nation have access and it serves as a referral service to Cherokee citizens located elsewhere in the US. ONE FIRE advocates collaborate with each client to formulate an individualized safety plan and coordinate with tribal and state officials to arrange restraining orders and criminal charges. Moreover, it also provides services that support longer-term recovery. Cultural healing through art therapy is a cornerstone of ONE FIRE.

Cherokee Nation ONE FIREHonoring Nations

Life changing support

At its core, the idea behind ONE FIRE is simple: prioritizing clients and breaking down silos between government departments helps individuals in crisis receive timely and targeted care. It focuses addressing complex trauma and equips survivors to break the cycle of violence.

In the past eight years, ONE FIRE has served over 1,800 victims. Through ONE FIRE, the Cherokee Nation has taken a leadership role in responding to domestic violence. By offering victim services to all residents regardless of tribal citizenship, the Nation affirms its governmental authority within its jurisdictional area.

Cherokee Nation ONE FIREHonoring Nations

Bringing the lessons home

With a dedicated, tribally-managed victim service program, the Cherokee Nation is sending a strong signal that domestic violence must be eradicated on its territory.  ONE FIRE stands out for its client-focused approach, which restores dignity to survivors.

Lessons
Serving all people—Native and non-Native, women and men—within their community helps governments bolster tribal sovereignty and achieve greater community wellness.

Wraparound, comprehensive services that cross departmental boundaries enable clients to access timely and targeted care while also decreasing costly redundancies.

Providing trauma-informed care that is both culturally relevant and wellness focused, gives clients tools that support longer-term recovery.

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Credits: Story

Honoring Nations: 2021 Awardee
ONE FIRE
Cherokee Nation

This exhibit was curated by the Project on Indigenous Governance and Development, Honoring Nations national awards program. All images were obtained with the permission of the host nation.

Honoring Nations 2021 Awards Report: https://indigenousgov.hks.harvard.edu/sites/hwpi.harvard.edu/files/hpaied/files/one_fire_chreokee_nation.pdf?m=1689022738

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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