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Our History

American Indian and Alaska Native women suffer some of the highest rates of violence and murder in the United States, a crisis that has diminished the honored status of women and safety in tribal communities. In spite of the high rates of violence experienced by AI/AN persons, only a small percentage reached out for assistance to The Hotline at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

In 2012, The Hotline began discussing this issue with staff from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) a Native-led nonprofit organization dedicated to ending violence against Native women and children. Together, they developed a program concept for a Native hotline developed by and run by Native advocates to support tribal communities across the United States. With input from tribal leaders, a Native women’s council, domestic violence experts, and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, the two organizations began laying the groundwork to develop a Native-centered hotline staffed by advocates with a strong understanding of Native cultures, as well as issues of tribal sovereignty and law.

Their vision became a reality with the creation of the StrongHearts Native Helpline (StrongHearts) in March 2017, made possible by support from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Verizon. StrongHearts is a culturally-appropriate, anonymous, confidential service dedicated to serving Native American survivors of domestic violence and concerned family members and friends. By dialing 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483), nationwide 24/7, callers can connect at no cost one-on-one with knowledgeable StrongHearts advocates who can provide lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable survivors to find safety and live lives free of abuse.

StrongHearts is a partnered effort, combining the technology and infrastructure of The Hotline with NIWRC’s expertise and community connections, as well as the trust of Native advocacy groups. StrongHearts staff serve on the NIWRC team.

Our Values

Mission Statement

We exist to restore power to Native Americans impacted by domestic, dating and sexual violence by weaving together a braid of safety, sovereignty and support.

Vision Statement

We envision a return to our traditional lifeways where our relatives are safe, violence is eradciated and sacredness is restored.

Land Acknowledgement

StrongHearts Native Helpline’s headquarters are located in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area on the ancestral lands of the Sioux Santee (Eastern Dakota) Wahpekute (Waȟpékhute) peoples.

Values and Guiding Principles

These principles are based on Indigenous values and beliefs. Through them, we actively honor our ancestors with our life and work.

Indigenous culture is the heart of our existence. We connect with our Tribal Nations and honor their diversity.

We strive to create a culture that is rooted in traditional Indigenous ways and that considers all aspects of life where one’s mind, body, and spirit are not pulled too strongly in any one direction. By maintaining a healthy balance our values can be expressed and lived positively.

We honor our connection to each other, to our ancestors, and to the earth. Our work is rooted in anti-oppression values and acknowledges that our words and actions have power to affect others. We are connected to those we serve and those striving to heal.

We practice a willingness to learn, even from lessons that come in difficult and non-traditional ways. We include others, validate their lived experiences, and help them on their paths with empathy.

We value a willingness to face unique challenges and prejudices. We call upon our gifts and approach these challenges with mental and moral strength and courage.

Our advocacy centers the resiliency of Indigenous survivors. Our ability to adapt in the face of adversity sustains us and our work as Indigenous peoples.

We have a duty to our ancestors and to future generations to practice integrity by being honest and honor our commitments. We create an environment where truth and honesty are valued.

Our Partners


StrongHearts Native Helpline is an active member of the National Hotline Consortium. The National Hotline Consortium was formed in 2015 by a group of leading national victim service and crisis intervention hotlines. The primary goals of the Consortium are to develop and model best practices for victim services and crisis response phone, chat, text, and email hotlines and to facilitate communication and coordination among these hotlines all in order to provide high-quality response to users of the services.

Violence in Indian Country

Many Native and non-Native domestic violence experts agree that the prevalence of violence in Indian Country is a modern effect of the historical trauma that our people continue to experience. The extent of domestic violence in tribal communities is particularly overwhelming.

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More Information

Answers to the most common questions
Current job opening descriptions and application.
Interested in learning more about supportive national organizations involved in domestic violence advocacy? Here are some helpful links.
Before colonization, abuse and domestic violence were rare in tribal communities.
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