Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

'Part of my purpose:' For Nicole Matthews, ending sexual violence is a personal matter


November 3, 2020

Nicole Matthews stands in front of the Memorial for Survivors of Sexual Violence at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis on Oct. 28. Christine T. Nguyen / MPR News

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nicole Matthews, 48, is the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, a statewide tribal coalition working to end sexual violence against Indigenous women and children.

She began working at the coalition more than 18 years ago after working at a nontribal program doing similar work. It's a move she said "felt like coming home," because she's able to impact and create change in her own community.

Matthews says many of her female relatives have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault. She has experienced sexual violence. And so advocating for sexual assault victims in the Native American community is personal.


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