Our work with Native students has introduced us to others doing vital work outside the school context in support of Native youth, families, and communities. We have seized the opportunity to partner with some of them to help ensure that those they serve do not have to miss school or work or activities of daily life when they are on their periods, or the indignity of stained clothing, or use period supplies for longer than intended and risk their health due to insufficient supplies.
Please contact us if you have a resource or connection that will help us do more!
Kwek Society COVID masks being repackaged for distribution within the Navajo Nation. Summer 2020.
United States Partners
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services: East and West Clinics
A dedicated staff member working for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services, which operates several clinics on tribal land near Shawnee, Oklahoma, reached out to us in August 2021 to request our moon time bags. We were excited to provide the bags, knowing they will be distributed to young Native clinic patients anticipating their first periods.
Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County
Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County operates in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is dedicated to helping neighbors restore their communities through intentional relationships. In June 2021 The Kwek Society began partnering with the group to stock its two friendship houses — homes staffed with full-time community coordinators to support neighbors in restoring their community from the inside out — with our moon time bags, so that community members have period supplies available when needed.
Gedakina is a Native-led nonprofit headquartered in Vermont. It works to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England. In April 2020 we began supplying the young people Gedakina serves with moon time bags and period products.
Indigenous Goddess Gang
Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief
Waterflow and Shiprock, NM
We established partnerships with Native kwe’k affiliated with the Indigenous Goddess Gangand with Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief shortly after COVID-19 shuttered schools and brick-and-mortar enterprises operating on the Navajo Nation. They have been nimble partners, allowing us to get period supplies to Native American community members at a time when the Navajo Nation was experiencing escalating COVID-19 infection and death rates and there were no period supplies on store shelves. During spring and summer 2020 they distributed, often door-to-door, the masks, hand sanitizer, moon time bags, pads, tampons and liners we shipped in. These efforts continued, with our support, through fall and winter 2020-2021.
NBS/ECHO+ SW Research
In early 2021, The Kwek Society connected to the Community Liaison for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study Research Project aka NBCS/ECHO+ SW Research. The project team works with mothers and their young children (up to 8 years old) to better understand the relationship among uranium and environmental metal exposures on the Navajo Nation, birth outcomes, and children’s development. We furnish the mothers participating in the study our moon time bags and period supplies and thereby support not only these kwe’k (women) but also the work of the Navajo Nation Department of Health, Southwest Research and Information, the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability, and the University of California, San Francisco.
Pueblo Action Alliance
Pueblo Action Alliance is a community driven organization that promotes cultural sustainability and community defense by addressing environmental and social impacts in Indigenous communities.
One key PAA project is providing baskets of food and other necessities to “unhomed relatives” living on the streets of Albuquerque, NM. We learned about the project after the pandemic struck. The generosity of our financial supporters and individual donors has allowed up to provide substantial numbers of moon time bags and period supplies to PAA so it can support the increasing number of Native clients who have lost shelter as the pandemic wears on.
Western Health Foundation
The Western Health Foundation is a nonprofit community-based health care delivery system. In February 2020, WHF was on the cusp of a new initiative to provide mobile women’s health services on the Ramah-Navajo reservation. It planned to host weekly clinics deep within the reservation, where women’s health services were non-existent. Its plans were curtailed by COVID-19. In February 2020, The Kwek Society shipped to WHF a supply of moon time bags and other period supplies for distribution to clinic clients. Because of the pandemic, many of our supplies were rerouted to homeless Native women staying in Gallup motels while isolating or recovering from COVID-19. We will be resupplying WHF once it is able to mobilize.
First Nations/Canada Partners
Our Board member Winona Elliott got right to work after joining our Board in late 2020. During the first months of 2021 she helped us forge partnerships with these four Native-run organizations serving First Nations, Metis, and Inuit kwe’k (women) in Ontario province. Winona, our “boots on the ground” in the North, personally delivers our pads and tampons and will be ensuring that the students and individuals we are supporting have the assurance of a steady supply of period products.
Chimnissing Child and Family Services
Christian Island, Ontario, CN
Georgian Bay Native Women’s Association
Midland, Ontario, CN
Orillia Native Women’s Group
North Orillia, Ontario, CN
Winona has continued her outreach efforts; by September 2021 she helped forge an additional partnership, highlighted below, and is in contact with several other potential First Nation partners.
Native Child Welfare, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Lion’s Head, Ontario, CN