Tribal Advisory Division



The Network was awarded an OVW special initiative in 2020. The Sexual Assault Forensic-Medical and Advocacy Services for the Tribes Initiative aka the Pipeline Project aka “FAST”. The initiative was in response to the data surrounding sexual assault and violent crime statistics during large scale projects, like pipelines.

FAST started during the pandemic and soon after, the Keystone XL pipeline was abandoned by TC Energy.  FAST was then in a wonderfully unique position to have time to grow our multi-disciplinary team, learn about gaps in services, and have robust conversations about emerging issues. Through the OVW FAST Initiative we have cultivated some substantial relationships with our partners across South Dakota. FAST strengthened our cultural responsiveness when working with partners and relatives and was able to add critical staff to agencies. The FAST team has a better understanding of each other’s programs, have enhanced advocacy skills, and are thoughtful in our responses. We also provide each other with current, culturally appropriate, and relevant resources.  This has been done through phone calls, emails, bi-weekly Zoom calls, webinars, on-site visits, quarterly round tables, and annual SVI events.

 Focus Areas of the FAST Project:

Cultural Awareness – 9 tribes are unique and have many similarities, but are different in many areas from spirituality, employment opportunities, size, location of services, traditions, needs, and resources. Six training events on cultural responsiveness have been provided to our FAST Team, in addition to 4 SVI events, 4 FAST Round Tables and an MMIP Summit, all culturally focused.

Education – generational trauma, complex relationships with governments, jurisdiction, ACES, Advocacy, Human Trafficking, drug trends, amber alerts, emotional intelligence, SANE response, forensic exams, SART, MDT, DV and SA intersections, HT and MMIP, LBGTQ+, data collection, MAVIS, prevention, homelessness, trauma informed, victim centered, truancy, legislation, funding opportunities.

MMIR – the history of the movement, sharing of information, identification of cases, and tracking of cases.

Human Trafficking – definition, tribal codes, state law, federal law, trends, collaborations, prevention, awareness, and emerging issues.

Sexual Assault – trauma informed, ACES, victim centered, relationships with SANE, Law Enforcement, other advocates and agencies, victim’s services, SART development and maintenance of existing teams. Additionally, the topic of sex offenders – Background characteristics and problems of violent offenders and curriculum to treat offenders and reduce to recidivism and prevention.

Multi-Disciplinary – we have included the following in the team throughout the grant – Dept of Health, CPCM, Tribal Domestic Violence Shelters, Tribal Coalitions, Tribal Schools, Truancy groups, housing, health care centers, SANE Nurses, transportation, advocates, out of state HT Task Force Members and Coalitions, Help Lines (211, 888, 988) DOJ, DCI, Department of Homeland Security, Sheriff Departments, SD HT groups, elders, educators, community based mental health centers, judges and lawyers.

Self- Care – FAST calls and events have created a space that is safe to share successes and difficulties, ask for help, learn, build community, and have included the practice yoga, meditation, and aroma therapy. We continue to address vicarious trauma, biases, and emotional intelligence.

Safety – situational awareness, structure safety, transportation safety, and safety of our facilities and advocates.

888#/Hotline – In coordination with the 211 helpline, a new hotline was created for victims.  888#/Hotline was created to provide advocacy, access to forensic exams, and transportation to e-SANE health care facilities. This has expanded to include human trafficking in partnership with the West River Human Trafficking Task Force.

We are privileged to have representation and consistent participation from South Dakota subject matter experts in the space of services to victims of violence and all nine tribes in South Dakota who work in various capacities. Our FAST team includes sexual assault advocates, domestic violence advocates, tribal administration, child advocacy, education, health care, victim’s services, law enforcement, first responders, prosecutors, housing, and public safety.

Click here to read about the Lakota Youth Solstice Camp that The Network assisted with through the Rape Prevention Education (RPE) grant funded by the South Dakota Department of Health.


Due to severe winter weather, this event has been postponed until the week of July 8th.



The First Tribal Summit was held on September 27th, 2023 in Chamberlain. Information shared included state of SD Tribal Relations, cold cases in South Dakota, other resources, and a round table discussion. A Second Tribal Summit is being planned so check back for more details coming soon.