Spokane Tribe member works to bridge trust divide among tribes and law enforcement 

WASHINGTON – An epidemic of violence against native Americans is plaguing this country.  It’s a problem right here in Washington and Idaho. 

You’ve probably heard about cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People in the news in the last few years, but this is not new and Washington is taking action. 

Spokane Tribal member, Dawn Pullin is an important cog in the wheel of justice for the victims and their families.  She is one of 2 tribal liaisons hired by the Washington State Patrol, positions created by legislation passed in 2019. 

Pullin said “Our role is to build trust between the government organizations and tribal communities.” 

It’s an uphill climb, as the trust issue goes back centuries. 

“I don’t know if, in my lifetime that that will ever be established or if that trust will be built, but we’re making efforts.” said Pullin. 

She deals directly with local, state and federal law enforcement, tribal law enforcement, families and individuals. She is there to help during times of panic, heartbreak and trauma.  “I understand that feeling when somebody experiences losing their loved one of somebody’s missing.” 

Dawn was 20 years old when her mother, Gloria was murdered.  She was killed by her adopted son, who also viciously attacked Dawn’s stepfather in their home on the Spokane reservation.  Years later, Dawn’s stepfather would die by suicide. 

Dawn said “nothing that can really address the trauma that you experience with that.” 

 That experience has pushed Dawn’s passion for her role with WSP.  She said “I want to be a part of an organization that tries to address the crisis for our people”