The DOVE Program came into existence in 2003 when the Women Alive (Equay BeMah De Zee Win) Crisis Center closed down. The White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, Human Services Division realized there was a great need for these services for women and families on the White Earth Reservation because of the closing of the Women Alive Crisis Center.
Ben Bement, Marshall Brown and Loretta Gjerde were the instigators for funding the programming. Ben worked with the state department in securing funds for White Earth and collaborated with the State and Lakes Crisis and Resource Center in Detroit Lakes for funding for safe-housing domestic violence victims on the White Earth Reservation (specifically Mahnomen County). Loretta and Ben worked on the naming for the programming and thus came up with Down on Violence Everyday – DOVE (a symbol of peace). Mary Farley produced the first logo artwork and layout for the DOVE Program and brochures.
Prior to any funded services or programs, Ivy Ailport-Norcross’s grassroots work to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault paved a path for those who came after her. Ivy worked out of cardboard boxes, going door to door providing support to those in need with very limited resources. Ivy’s outreach was the first of its kind on the White Earth Reservation. Ivy later worked as an Advocate for the Omiimii Wadiswan Equay Shelter DOVE Program. Ivy, sadly, passed away June 9, 2012. Ivy’s legacy, memory and passion to support survivors lives on.
The current Management Team: Tanya Vold, Jodie Sunderland and Sonia Christensen have been with the White Earth DOVE Program since 2005 and have supported the program in its growth from just a few staff working out of ever changing offices to transitioning every aspect of the program to both shelter based and community based programming which includes everything it is today.
We now have a beautiful shelter; awesome, 24/7 staff; an Elder Abuse Outreach Facilitator; Tribal Safe Harbor Program for Sexually Exploited youth; Sexual Assault Victim Advocate; Law Enforcement Liaison position; an upcoming Child Advocacy Center; an annual conference and participation in well-recognized, first-of-their-kind events, such as the Safe Harbor Tribal Summit.