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What is Period Poverty? Native American women work to address issue.

By Meghan Holohan

During class, Tierra Baird felt her period start and rushed to the bathroom. She tried to get a tampon from the machine, but it was broken. Baird, a sophomore at the time, didn’t have one because her family couldn’t afford them.

“I couldn’t access tampons,” the now 17-year-old high school senior told TODAY. “Money was a little bit tight. I would ask some friends for tampons when I needed them. I would be too embarrassed so it was something I wouldn’t talk about.” Read full article

Meet the Women Fighting to End Period poverty on Native American reservations

By Katherine

An organization called the Kwek Society, named for the Potawatomi word for “woman”, is tackling period poverty on reservations. Their donations of menstrual products are helping provide girls at Red Cloud with the menstrual products — and dignity — that they deserve.

The Kwek Society was founded by 60-year-old Eva Marie Carney last September, in response to the shocking rate of period poverty on Native American reservations. A 2017 survey by the brand Always found that one in five American girls left or missed school because they didn’t have period products.  Read full article

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United Voice: Donation of Feminine Hygiene Products Helps Native American Girls in School

A recent donation of feminine hygiene products to a school in Shawnee is making a big impact in the lives of girls there. Pleasant Grove caters to mostly Native American students, and the help is especially needed in their community.

Every woman has faced the fear of her first cycle, but imagine that being compounded by not having the access to the products you need. Read more and watch TB news clip

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Kwek Society recognized with Power, Together award in Iceland

The Reykjavík Global Forum Women Leaders presented The Kwek Society (Kwe’k means “women” in Potawatomi) with the Power, Together award in November 2019. Founded by Tribal member and Citizen Potawatomi Nation District 2 Legislator Eva Marie Carney, the nonprofit was one of 25 organizations recognized for their dedication to ending period poverty during the three-day conference in Iceland. Read full article

The Kwek Society helps Native women

By Rich Tupica

The Kwek Society (Kwe’k means “women” in Potawatomi) wakes up every morning with the same mission: supplying Native women with products they desperately need.  The nonprofit, which formed in 2018, provides tampons, pads and other menstrual supplies to Native American communities across the country who lack access to these expensive products. The organization also provides educational materials and raises awareness about period poverty in Native American communities.   Read full article

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

Indigenous women are showing up all over Indian Country to assist their communities and other Native nations during the pandemic. Follow these grassroots, organizational, and governmental efforts and learn more about their critical and courageous work! Read full article


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