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Open Letter To

Congressman Cramer
We are here to let you know what prairie allowing their tribes to protect them was
tough looks like. We are here to let you “unconstitutional” and that a non-native
know that you are wrong – this is not “a could not get a fair trial. How is it “unconsti-
movement toward victimization” it’s about tutional” to stand up for the rights of Native
being a survivor. We are here to let you women and girls – what is fair about their
know that we have all suffered from domes- being beaten, sexually assaulted, or raped
tic violence, sexual assault, or rape – and with impunity. North Dakota’s Native wom-
that yes, we expect somebody to believe us en and girls have frequently felt like they’ve
when we say it. Because it happened. had no voice while they’ve screamed in the
dark – yet they continue to fight, seek jus-
As North Dakotans who have experienced tice, and come forward with their stories.
this absolute terror firsthand and survived That is prairie tough.
these crimes – we are all prairie tough. We
have been told no one will listen, that there None of us want another woman or girl in
is nothing we can do, or that it was our fault North Dakota to experience what we have.
that something happened – we will no lon- We have been encouraged by the outpour-
ger allow women and girls in North Dakota ing of support and strength that we have
to grow up believing that is the case. You received over the years from our families,
will never know what it feels like to be so friends, and communities. We know that
personally violated, to have someone take is the best of North Dakota. We know that
what seems like everything from you – and there is strength in numbers – and that we
to never have justice or peace of mind. You can change outcomes for future genera-
will never know what it’s like to relive the tions of women and girls in North Dakota.
experience every day, suffering in silence, Not through silence or being told when we
and dealing with a lifetime of trauma. That are allowed to talk – but by raising our voic-
is prairie tough. es whenever and wherever we can, even if it
takes years to find our voice.
Native women and girls in Indian Country That is prairie tough.
and elsewhere in North Dakota – are prai-
rie tough. They experience these crimes at We are all survivors of domestic violence,
appallingly high rates – and in Indian Coun- sexual assault, or rape.
try non-Native perpetrators rarely suffer the
consequences for their actions. You once We are all North Dakotans.
had a chance to stand up for women and
girls in Indian Country – and you said that We are all prairie tough.

Tami DeCoteau, Bismarck Caryn Rose Scholl, Bismarck Julie Sandvig, West Fargo Maria O. Thysell, Jamestown
Kylie Oversen, Killdeer Kady Miller, Bismarck Jenika Rufer, Fargo BB, Bismarck
Sue Herzog, Bismarck Keeley Beck, Bismarck Rebecca L. Poulton, Fargo Sarah Bentley, Jamestown
Kristie Wolff, Mandan Omani Luger, Bismarck Andrea Denault, Larimore SO, Bismarck
Melissa Merrick-Brady, New Town Jaede Eiseman, Bismarck Adrianna Gilmore, West Fargo Chris B, Jamestown
Dr. Jacque Gray, Grand Forks Eve Lancaster, Bismarck DKD, Fargo Courtney, Bismarck
KT, Bismarck Emily Jane Stewart, Bismarck Amy Ingersoll Johnson, Bismarck Monique Vondall-Rieke, JD, Rolla
Ellie Shockley, Mandan Stewart Sunny Tina De La Cruz, Fargo PB, Fargo
Josie Danz, Fargo Megan Stoltz, Bismarck HS, Fargo Deb J, Fargo
SD, Bismarck ZMercedes Sunshine Beito , Bismarck Madison Schill, Fargo L Sobolik, Fargo
Katie D, Grand Forks Alexandria Doll, Bismarck RN, Fargo DP, Mayville
Karen Stoker, Fargo Brooke Nicole, Bismarck Andrea Baumgardner, Fargo Anita Brandenburg, Fargo
Stacy P, Grand Forks Montesha Coleman, Minot Tracy Lynn, Fargo SL Nelson, Fargo
Crysta Parkinson, Williston Diandra Schneider, Bismarck Melissa H, Fargo Rebecca Gardner, Fargo
Sindy Fladland, Williston Laura Elizabeth Grasl, Bismarck TS, Fargo Rev Dr Paula C Mehmel, Casselton
Jennifer Buechel, Mandan Shylah Forde, Mandan Von Karin King, Valley City Therese H, Grand Forks
Margaret Landin-Gonzalez, Whiteshield Riley Hellman, Bismarck Netha Cloeter, Fargo Donene Feist, Edgeley
Lexi Duppong, Mandan Jaiden Young-Peterson Kathy Paulson, New Town Meg Spielman Peldo, Fargo
Megan Zako, Bismarck BNF, Fargo CS, Belcourt Dena Wyum, Rutland
Sandra Bercier, Belcourt Gretta Brower Gabrielson, Grand Forks JoJamba Matthews, Grand Forks Mary R, Bismarck
AO, Mandan Tata Johnson, Grand Forks Teresa Vandemark, Mohall Diana Bata, Adams
Marriah Potter, Bismarck MS, Fargo Donna Nyland, Grand Forks K Vettel, Hillsboro
LG, Bismarck Avis Little Eagle, Standing Rock Jessica Meade Ramey, Devils Lake Cathy Newman, Fargo
SD, Mandan Nicki Kehr, Bismarck Susan Geike Lyon, Bismarck Tara Okpalaeke-Wood, Bismarck
M Anderson, Fargo Dr. Linda Gourneau, Bismarck Cairn Reisch, Fargo AN, Bowman
Justine Hulm, Hebron SMG, Bismarck LT, Jamestown Amanda E Lindseth, Alsen
Alexandria Delzer, Bismarck ABS, Fargo Cheryl Schaefle, Fargo PLH, Valley City
Lexi Zhorela, Bismarck Gail Mooney, Hillsboro Kaitlyn Olson, Dickinson Kay Way, Mandan
Tiffany Spokely, Bismarck Karyn Hippen, Thompson Stacey Buckman, Belfield Alexandria Doll, Bismarck
Briahnna Lynne, Bismarck Heidi A, West Fargo Candace Anderson, Grafton Hayley Powell, Grand Forks
Brittany Rae, Bismarck Holly B, Grand Forks Gina Bushey, Fargo Allison Schroeder, Bismarck
Alicia Ronsberg, Bismarck Dr. Cindy Juntunen, Grand Forks Carla Shypkoski, Dickinson