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  Sliver of a Moon  
  On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at 6:30pm at the Four Bears Casino & Lodge Grand Ballroom, the Ft. Berthold Coalition Against Violence, the First Nations Womens Alliance, and MHA Nation will present a staged reading of the play, Sliver of a Full Moon. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30pm and appetizers will be served. 

Sliver of a Full Moon is a powerful reenactment of the historic congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013: a movement that restored the authority of Tribal Governments to prosecute non-Indian abusers who assault and abuse Native women on tribal lands. The play’s author, Mary Kathryn Nagle, is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a partner at Pipestem Law Firm, where she works to protect and preserve the inherent sovereignty of Indian Nations to protect all of their citizens. 

The staged reading documents the legal and jurisdictional issues raised in the wake of Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, a 1978 Supreme Court decision that stripped Indian Nations of the ability to exercise their inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who come onto tribal lands and commit crimes.  Oliphant left Native women and children at a higher risk of domestic violence than any other group in the United States. The play then follows the bipartisan legislative battle to reauthorize VAWA in 2013 with a tribal jurisdiction provision that restored a portion of Tribes’ jurisdiction to protect Native women and children from non-Indian perpetrated violence.  In the words of survivor Lisa Brunner (White Earth Ojibwe), “The partial restoration of tribal jurisdiction in VAWA 2013 is just a sliver of the full moon we need to ensure all of our women are safe.  Until all of our Tribes’ jurisdiction is full restored, no one is safe.”

Sliver of a Full Moon’s cast features four courageous Native women who stepped forward to share publicly their stories of abuse by non-Indians and their efforts to counter staunch opponents to the tribal provisions, including: Billie Jo Rich (Eastern Band Cherokee), Diane Millich (Southern Ute Indian Tribe), Lisa Brunner (White Earth Ojibwe), and Nettie Warbelow (Athabaskan, from the Native Village of Tetlin). Actors play some of the characters—an actor plays Congressman Tom Cole, for example—but the women who testified before congressional leaders play themselves. The performance in New Town will also feature several local individuals from North and South Dakota.

Sliver of a Full Moon is about the power of sharing our own stories,” said playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle. “For so long survivors have been told they must remain silent. Sliver of a Full Moon breaks that silence and works to create healing spaces in our own tribal communities where survivors are honored and supported, not ashamed and silenced.” 

Please join us on January 20 to celebrate the strength of our women who have stood up and spoken out in support of tribal sovereignty and safety for all Native women.

For more information about Siver of a Full Moon, please visit: or contact BJ Brady at or 701-627-4171.

See poster here for more details.
Three Affiliated Tribes
404 Frontage Road
New Town, ND 58763