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In Memoriam: Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D.

Joanne Shenandoah, a Native American music star and advocate for victims of crime in Indian Country, passed away on Monday, November 22, 2021.

A member of the Oneida Indian Nation, Joanne was dedicated to promoting peace and healing. She was passionate about acknowledging and addressing the injustices and disparities that exist for American Indian and Alaska Native children.

In 2013, Joanne was nominated to serve as Co-Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Children Exposed to Violence. This committee examined the scope and impact of violence facing AI/AN children exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. They provided recommendations for change that will heal and protect AI/AN children and foster environments in which they can thrive and develop to their full potential.

In addition to her work on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, Joanne, a Grammy-award winning musician, presented workshops on healing through music. Her song “Missing You” is a song for Missing, Murdered, and Exploited Indigenous Indian Women and Girls. She performed at seven National Indian Nations: Justice for Victims of Crime Conferences, hosted by OVC.

She had the gift of connecting with everyone in the room. OVC staff remember coming away having a higher level of understanding of Tribal culture whenever they had the honor of speaking with her. Joanne’s words and music will be with us at our next conference and beyond.

Date Modified: October 31, 2022
Date Published: December 21, 2021