Our work with Indigenous students has introduced us to others doing vital work outside the school context in support of Indigenous 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
Shiprock Office of Diné Youth
AZ, NM, and UT
Shiprock Office of Diné Youth serves hundreds upon hundreds of students across the Navajo Nation. Its vision statement aligns closely with our own goals:
The Office of Diné Youth is committed to enhancing traits of youth such as: integrity, self-discipline, loyalty and respect to successfully participate in today’s society as a Diné/Native American. The Office of Diné Youth is dedicated to ensuring that Navajo Youth under 21 years of age benefit from youth services available to them and that the services be provided in a manner that develops positive attitudes, enhance positive self-image, confidence, maturity, and pride in being a productive member of society.
We enthusiastically began our partnership in October 2022, providing our full array of period supplies and obtaining high-quality sports bras for students through our friends at Bras for Girls.
ME and VT
We have partnered with Gedakina for several years now, providing period supplies and our moon time bags to the Indigenous students from across New England who are served by Gedakina. Gedakina works to conserve traditional homelands and places of historical, ecological, and spiritual significance and to educate others as to their importance.
Native Village of Marshall
In August 2022, The Kwek Society began furnishing about 100 students and community members in the Native Village of Marshall, Alaska, with the full range of period supplies we offer, along with puberty education materials (Glad Rags’ Passage book) for students. Our contact, Robert Pitka, reports that for many villagers, period supplies are unaffordable.
Healthy Native Communities Partnership, Inc.
In May 2022 we partnered with HNCP, a national non-profit organization that works with Indigenous communities to realize their own vision of wellness, to assist community change leader Dr. Asha Atwell in her work supporting our unhomed relatives living in the Navajo Nation. Our moon time bags and period supplies, including menstrual cups, are now available through the Northern Navajo Medical Center’s Sih Hasin Street Medicine Program, operating in Shiprock and Farmington, New Mexico.
Penobscot Nation Youth Program
Indian Island, ME
In August 2022, after an introduction by Indian Island School parent Martha Newell, we began a partnership with the Penobscot Nation Youth Program. We are providing pads and liners along with puberty education materials to program participants and, with Martha’s encouragement, renewed our support to Indian Island School students as well.
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 and contributed moon time bags and period supplies to PAA for Indigenous clients. We expect to continue our work with PAA in partnership with its youth council.
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 Indigenous women staying in Gallup motels while isolating or recovering from COVID-19. We closed out this partnership in early 2022 when the initiative terminated.
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.
Papalaxsimisha and Native American Student Union
Warm Springs, OR
In May 2022 we began a partnership with Papalaxsimisha, an Indigenous women-run program that incorporates historical trauma, healing, self-identity, cultural awareness, high school readiness, and college and career readiness in a high school curriculum taught through the Native American Student Union (NASU) at Madras High Schol, Warm Springs, Oregon. NASU is dedicated to supporting social and leadership skill development along with academic and cultural support for Indigenous students — predominantly members of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation — attending Madras High School. We began the partnership with a shipment of moon time bags, information about period poverty and our efforts to support Indigenous people, and some Kwek Society swag.
Cheyenne River Youth Project
The Cheyenne River Youth Project strives to give the Lakota youth of the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation access to a vibrant and secure future through culturally sensitive programs, projects and facilities – ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Erin Borla, Executive Director of The Roundhouse Foundation, introduced us to CRYP in May 2022. Its mission resonated with ours and we now furnish CRYP Lakota youth with period supplies, including our moon time bags.
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 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
In Q4 2021, with Winona’s perseverance, we also added Saugeen First Nation as a First Nation partner.
Saugeen First Nation
Saugeen First Nation is an Ojibway First Nation band located along the Saugeen River and Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Our period supplies are being distributed to its Aaron Roote Memorial Youth Centre, Women’s Shelter and Health Centre.
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
One of our newest partnerships also was forged by Winona Elliott. In August 2022, we agreed to provide period support to some 50 students and community members of this Anishinaabe Nation located on the southern shores of Lake Simcoe. We are inspired by Georgina Island’s vision of well-being for the next seven generations, which includes economic prosperity, safe and convenient travel; a healthy environment; and language and culture revitalization.