William Neuheisel

Pretty Bird Woman House

For those of you who’ve spent any time around me, you’ve likely heard this before. But for those who don’t know this about me, I’ll repeat it: my grandmother is my personal hero.

For years she has worked tirelessly for several organizations in North and South Dakota fighting against domestic and sexual violence against rural and native women; helping to found or lead many of those agencies. She has logged tens of thousands of miles driving across the sparsely populated regions of the western Dakotas, going wherever she was needed to provide safe transport, or to advocate for victims of abuse. Her strength in the face of that crushing violence and abuse, and her overwhelming compassion are a continual source of inspiration for me. I love talking to her when I am down, because she always fills me with hope.

This weekend, she told me the story of Pretty Bird Woman House, a women’s safe-house whose board she serves on, and which was founded by her friend Jackie Brown Otter (whose sister, Pretty Bird Woman, was kidnapped, raped and murdered). Shelters like these are desperately needed in these areas, but due to a lack of funds, Pretty Bird Woman House was on the brink of closure. Fortunately, however, Amnesty International issued a damning report on violence against indigenous women. This report was picked up on by Daily Kos, which also mentioned the crisis of Pretty Bird Woman House (here and here).

Within hours, people who had read the Daily Kos blog set up a donation website and raised over $9,000 in 24 hours. As you can see, I’ve posted a donation widget to help support this fund raiser to help support this critical program.

Most people’s Grandmas bake pies and crochet. Damn, I’m lucky…

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. racefan May 22nd, 2007 11:22 am

    This was so AWESOME nephew. Grandma called me right away and told me to read it. She is as proud of you as you are of her. Quite the pair you two are! Two peas in a pod!

    I loved your vacation pictures. I’m envious. Beautiful.

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