National TA

The Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition


Indigenous Relatives in Solidarity



IRIS is made up of National Technical Assistance projects designed to strengthen and support tribal responses to sexual violence and trafficking.

About IRIS

As the need for technical assistance has grown and MIWSAC has had the chance to visit with more and more tribal communities, we have come to recognize how all members of our communities are impacted by sexual violence and trafficking.

Flowers in general have significance to MIWSAC as a result of the Garden of Truth report, when 105 Native women were interviewed about their experiences in prostitution and trafficking.  The Iris flower in particular symbolizes expanding knowledge and transformation.

“I came to the position with absolute faith and confidence in our own people and our own ability to solve our own problems.”

            -Wilma Mankiller



Indigenous Relatives in Solidarity (IRIS) is a program of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (MIWSAC).  MIWSAC was formed in 2001 and has a long history of activism to address sexual violence and trafficking in tribal communities.

In 2010, MIWSAC was funded through the Office on Violence Against Women to provide technical assistance (TA) and training to grantees of the Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program. 

Since then, MIWSAC has had the opportunity to provide TA in a variety of forums, including the Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI) and a Targeted Trafficking Technical Assistance project.

What is Technical Assistance?

Technical assistance is intended to provide grantees with information, training, support and resources to enhance their capacity to address violence against women and children while effectively implementing grant goals and objectives.

What Technical Assistance can IRIS Provide?

  • Public Awareness Work
  • Community Organizing
  • Sexual Assault 101
  • Trafficking 101
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Historical Trauma and Responses
  • Advocacy for Two Spirit/LGBTQ folks
  • 40 Hour Native Specific Sexual Assault Advocacy Training
  • Native victims of SA with Disabilities
  • Native survivors of prostitution and trafficking
  • Strengthening relationships between federal/tribal/local authorities
  • Community-based solutions to address sexual violence and trafficking
  • Sexual assault by spiritual leaders
  • Other topics as requested by you!


In partnership with Mending the Sacred Hoop, IRIS offers a targeted TA project to address sex trafficking in Indian Country.  Tribes are able to request on-site training to support and strengthen their community’s response to trafficking.  IRIS can also facilitate a community forum during these site visits.

Topics that can be addressed include:

  • Developing Tribal Codes related to trafficking
  • Strengthening partnerships with law enforcement and the FBI
  • Community efforts to address sex buyers
  • Advocacy and outreach skills for working with trafficked youth and adults


IRIS offers technical assistance to all tribes and nonprofits funded under the Tribal Sexual Assault Services program. 

IRIS offers the following for TSASP grantees:

  • Webinars
  • Yearly training institutes
  • On-site trainings
  • 40-hour Native specific sexual assault advocacy trainings
  • One on one calls

Indigenous Relatives in Solidarity

1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 202

St. Paul, MN 55104


Phone: 651-646-4800

Toll Free: 1-877-995-4800

Fax: 651-646-4798


Nicole Matthews

Executive Director

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Guadalupe Lopez

Technical Assistance Training Coordinator

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**Point of Contact for Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program grantees

Amanda Watson

National Trainer/Facilitator

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**Point of contact for Targeted Trafficking Technical Assistance Project


This project was supported by grant No. 2014-TA-AX-KO49 and grant No.. 2014-TA-AX-KO26 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice.  The opinions, findings conclusions, and recommendations expressed  herein do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against