We at The Kwek Society are grateful for this turn of seasons and hopeful that you, our
supporters, are staying safe and well. Most of the students we supply with period products are
back in school – thankfully! We currently are experiencing a surge in requests for period
supplies, and we continue to take on new partners. To date, we have committed to supplying 61
schools and community-based service groups. And we have distributed over 630,000 period supplies (pads, tampons, liners, and underwear) and moon time bags–our lovely sewn bags
stuffed with pads and liners! We welcome your support of our work across Native North America, whether it takes the form of hosting a supplies drive, sewing for us, sending supplies or a monetary donation, sharing information about us with your contacts, or introducing us to a new potential partner needing our help. Learn about all the ways to help here.
This newsletter includes excerpts from a book of traditional women’s teachings we have long
admired, Moon Time Prayer. As noted in the book’s foreword, written by Grandmother Isabelle
Meawasige: “These women’s teachings touch upon the power of the Moon, the Earth and their
connection to women… In the beginning times, the teachings appeared in spoken stories,
known as tales of power.” We are honored to have the permissions to quote from this book and
to share with you the cover illustration. Migwetch (thank you) to author Dr. Cindy Gaudet,
illustrator Leah Dorion and publisher Mother Butterfly Books. This newsletter also highlights
supporter April Stobbe, who has formed her own period poverty eradicating nonprofit; Alta
Mitchell, the substance counselor and social worker at Wingate High School, a partner school in
Fort Wingate, New Mexico; and our board member, Tesia Zientek, who by day serves as the
Director of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Department of Education.
Please don’t forget to send your ideas for future newsletters, including traditional teachings
about puberty and periods, to our newsletter editor, Paige Willett.
Chi migwetch (thank you very much) for your interest in and support of our work to end period
poverty among Native American students and communities throughout North America.
Eva Marie Carney
Founder & Operator
First Nations Women's Teachings
We heartily recommend Moon Time Prayer in its entirety.
We have long admired this lovely book. As noted in the book’s foreword, written by Grandmother Isabelle Meawasige: “These women’s teachings touch upon the power of the Moon, the Earth and their connection to women… In the beginning times, the teachings appeared in spoken stories, known as tales of power.” We are honored to have the permissions to quote from this book and to share with you the cover illustration. Migwetch (thank you) to author Dr. Cindy Gaudet, illustrator Leah Dorion and publisher Mother Butterfly Books. Here are some excerpts from this special book:
In Indigenous culture, the Moon is known as Grandmother Moon and is connected to women’s sacredness, as well as to the roles and responsibilities that come with being a woman. The Moon is the weaver of the tides and the leader of the waters of the Earth. Grandmother Moon also governs the waters inside women. One of these watery experiences is known as Moon Time, or the menstrual cycle.
Grandmother Moon governs all life cycles from birth to death through her powerful magnetic pull. Her work is to weave magic into the heart of all of earth’s creations.
Once every twenty-eight days, the fullness of the Grandmother Moon illuminates the night sky. This also is when the spirt of the moon dances within woman. Every twenty-eight days, her vibrant red blood Fows to nourish the earth mother.
As women we are connected to Grandmother Moon and She hears us. Our Moon Time cycle is linked with her. It is through Her that we receive our strength to go inward. And it is with the assistance of Grandmother Moon that all life pushes forth. The plants, the trees, and babies.
Remembering the sacredness of our Moon Time and our womanhood is how we create harmony in our own heart, in our family and in our entire community.
Wingate High School, New Mexico
Alta Mitchell is a substance abuse counselor and social worker who works with Wingate High School students in Fort Wingate, New Mexico. Alta has her Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy and is an intrepid Diné kwe (woman). We began our partnership with Alta and Wingate High School mid-pandemic, keeping Wingate High School stocked with supplies since August 2020.
Alta recently wrote, “It has been a blessing to get the personal hygiene products, especially during the pandemic. We were sending the products out to the students on daily bus food delivery, and with SUV hotspot runners.”
She also reported that she reached out to students who came to the school to pick up lunch so that they knew they could take home the products if they and their family members needed them.
The Kwek Society is grateful to Alta for her diligence and care for her students and their families at a most difficult time when Navajo Nation families were often under a daily curfew directed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, Wingate High School has reopened and students will not have to miss school days due to period poverty. Chi migwetch (big thanks), Alta, for the work you do for students and families!
April Stobbe of Shawnee, Oklahoma, is a devoted advocate for children and families, and a great friend and ally of The Kwek Society. April serves on the Shawnee Public Schools School Board. When we told April about our efforts to end period poverty across Native North America, she donated funds to us and then jumped right in to address the issues specifically in her community. She formed a nonprofit, The Shawnee Alliance for Period Supplies, to ensure Shawnee schools’ bathrooms and locker rooms are stocked with period supplies. The Kwek Society supplements April’s efforts from time to time by sending period supplies to the Shawnee schools to support SAPS's work and celebrate Shawnee students’ moon times. April welcomes questions from like-minded advocates who are thinking about starting an organization like SAPS in their own communities. You can learn more about SAPS’ work and reach April through SAPS’ Facebook page.
Board Member Spotlight
Shop our online store
We’ve just added new items to our online store with our logo-ed and branded items. Shop here, and then show off your good taste and your commitment to end period poverty – Kwek Society swag also make great gifts! All profits fuel our work!