Paula Julian serves as Senior Policy Specialist for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), the National Indian Resource Center Addressing Domestic Violence and Safety for Indian Women. Paula assists with policy analysis and development, technical assistance and training, and development of partnerships to strengthen laws, policies and responses addressing violence against Native women. Paula has worked with Alaska Native advocates to establish the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and with Native Hawaiian advocates to form the Pouhana O Na Wahine (Pillars of Women) – both organizations dedicated to addressing domestic and gender-based violence in the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian community respectively. Formerly, Paula was an Outreach Coordinator with Sacred Circle and also worked for the Avellaka Program of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians to establish the Program and help develop the Tribe’s response to violence against women. Paula worked with the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc. in a technical assistance project to strengthen tribal capacity to assist sexual assault victims, including the development of a curriculum, community education and webinar materials.
From 1995-2005, Paula was a Program Manager at the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), U.S. Department of Justice. Highlights of her time at OVW include: analysis and development of policies affirming government-to-government relations and the Federal trust responsibility, for the Department and with other Federal agencies; development of the Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Initiative; development and administration from 2001-2006 of the Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Grant Program; management of the following OVW Programs: STOP Violence Against Indian Women, STOP Violence Against Women, and the State Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions; and development and implementation of technical assistance and training.
Debra has worked primarily in the legal field for the last 30 years for several Northwest Tribes in Washington and the Tlingit & Haida Tribes. She has obtained experience applying the law to a variety of situations as well as developed several new programs and initiatives. After relocating to Southeast Alaska in March 2007, she began the task of building the Tlingit & Haida Court, first as a Magistrate, then the elected Chief Justice and then finally as the Presiding Justice. She has also worked as a Magistrate Judge for the State of Alaska Court System covering Petersburg, Wrangell and Kake. Recently Debra became the Senior Policy Specialist for the Alaska Native Women's Resource Center (AKNWRC) and is a PhD student at the University of Fairbanks in Indigenous Studies.
Throughout her legal career Debra has achieved extensive experience in developing and implementing laws and policies relating to domestic violence, child support, and child welfare and dealing with jurisdictional matters, particularly in the child welfare, child support and criminal law areas. She has worked for Tribes and on Native issues, as a prosecutor, advocate, mediator and a judicial officer and has assisted individuals in navigating the legal maze to find solutions, accountability, retribution or to provide voice towards problem solving.
Debra enjoys creating art as a way of maintaining balance in her life. She commits many hours each month to learning, creating and sometimes teaching cedar bark and spruce root baskets, Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving, sewing and beading Native regalia, as well as needle point.
Tiana is Koyukon Athabascan and from the Caribou Clan. Her family is originally from Huslia, Alaska. She currently resides in Fairbanks with her husband and two children. She enjoys beadwork, art, berry picking, and spending time with her family.
Michelle Demmert, Tlingit, Eagle, Ḵaax̱ʼoos.hittaan (Man’s Foot) clan is the Law and Policy Director at the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center. In the recent past, she was the appointed Chief Judge for the Tulalip Tribes and the elected Chief Justice for the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. While the Chief Justice for her tribe, she served as the co-chair of the National Congress of American Indians’ Violence Against Women Task Force. Judge Demmert has devoted her legal career to advancing improvements and practices in tribal courts and has also worked in various capacities of advancing domestic violence protections for women and children. She has testified to Congress regarding legislation and current issues affecting women and children. She is the past Chief Judge at the Chehalis tribe and was their Presiding Judge for over 12 years while working at the Northwest Intertribal Court System. Judge Demmert worked for nearly 10 years in the Reservation Attorney’s office for the Tulalip Tribes. In that position, she served as the Tulalip Tribes’ primary point of contact for the special domestic violence jurisdiction intertribal working group on domestic violence and has presented about this process at many tribal, state, federal and university forums, including a presentation to the Department of Justice staff during Domestic Violence Awareness month in October 2015. Judge Demmert is a graduate of the University of Washington for both her Juris Doctorate and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She actively engaged in the Alaska commercial fishing industry prior to her practice of law. /p>