In Memoriam: Cleveland (CJ) Doxtater

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With heavy hearts, NCALL, along with our End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin family, mourns the loss of Cleveland (CJ) Doxtater. CJ served as the End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin Tribal & Elder Outreach Program Director.

CJ began his spirit walk after Covid-19 on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. There are no words to express the range of emotions the End Abuse community is experiencing; the outpouring of love, grief, remembering, and honoring says all there is to say.

NCALL Director, Bonnie Brandl, shared these words about CJ.

CJ was a passionate advocate for older survivors of abuse – both in Wisconsin and throughout the country.  Over the more than 20 years that I worked with CJ, I had numerous opportunities to co-facilitate sessions with him, to listen to his stories, and benefit from his wisdom.  CJ was generous with his time working with NCALL.  In 2015, his insightful comments and contributions during our tribal listening session helped craft the key messages in Reclaiming What is Sacred:  Addressing Harm to Indigenous Elders and Developing a Tribal Response to Abuse in Later Life .

I had the privilege of co-presenting with CJ in Fairbanks, AK,  for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians – all communities that received funding from the Office on Violence Against Women’s Abuse in Later Life program.  While co-facilitating with CJ, I learned the importance of following the energy and spirit in the room rather than being tied to a planned agenda.  CJ valued ritual and ceremony and shared traditions and blessing freely.  He listened intently.  He was masterful at weaving a story together that drew the listener into the words and message.  He was committed to confronting and reducing elder abuse to restore dignity, harmony, and balance in tribal communities.  I was honored to learn from him and work with him on elder justice.

Many who lived and worked alongside CJ hold beautiful memories and continue to be impacted by all he offered to those in his life and in this anti-violence movement. We welcome those who wish to share memories, stories, tributes, wishes, and photos of CJ on his Tribute Wall, found here.

This world is better for CJ’s life, work, and presence. As we mourn his passing, we celebrate his uniquely powerful and insightful soul. He gave many years filled with beauty, commitment, and healing to the anti-violence movement, serving first as an End Abuse board member, and for the last 15 years as staff. He impacted so many in our movement, always holding space for reflection, ceremony, and growth.

Our hearts are with his loved ones as CJ remains with us in memory, and in the legacy he leaves.


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