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Women and Children’s Health

Running Strong works with programs that help American Indian women lead healthy and fulfilling lives, and empower women to take pride in their cultural identity.

Women's Health Programs

The legacies of colonialism, including historical trauma, the erosion of family relations from the boarding school era, and the contamination of subsistence life ways have created many challenges for American Indian women.  Running Strong strives to help Indian women heal from past hardships, gain pride in their cultural identity, and develop skills to fulfill their goals. We work closely with Women is the First Environment Collaborative.  From its local field operations in New York State and Washington, DC, the Collaborative seeks to advance the reproductive justice agendas of American Indian women.  It also intersects with diverse social justice movements through advocacy, communications and curriculum development.

Learn more about our women & children's health programs here.

Spotlighted Programs

  • Brave Heart Society Women’s Conference


    Lake Andes, SD


    Nakota, Dakota & Lakota SIoux

    The Brave Heart Society on the Yankton Reservation in Lake Andes, South Dakota, offers cultural programs for Nakota, Dakota and Lakota Sioux women and girls, designed to revive their cultural traditions.

    One Brave Heart Society program is a Women’s Conference, which brings together domestic violence shelters and traditional women’s societies, and assists women from the tribe who are domestic and sexual assault survivors. The conference helps these women to “know that we have a right to protect ourselves, our land, our water, and our children.”

    The conference is a chance for community healing, and a step to end the culture of silence imposed by historical trauma.

  • SmileStrong Dental Kits


    Around the US



    Last year, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®  Dreamstarter™ Cristin Haase, a dental school candidate, educated us about the dire need for proper dental care in Indian Country, such as on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation, particularly among young children.

    Christin inspired us to take action, so this summer we are beginning our first “SmileStrong” campaign providing 2,500 Native American children with a SmileStrong kit - a box containing:

    • toothbrushes
    • toothpaste
    • dental floss
    • a brushing “timer”
    • educational information about the importance of taking care of their teeth properly

    In addition to providing thousands of children with the SmileStrong kits we will partner with Delta Dental of South Dakota’s Circle of Smiles program later this summer to bring dental hygienists to the Cheyenne River reservation summer food service program sites operated by Running Strong to improve access to dental prevention services and oral health education.

More Programs View All

  • Schools and Youth Centers

    Running Strong is creating a new generation of Indian leaders who demonstrate healthy lifestyles and confidence in their heritage.

  • Clean Water

    Running Strong is working to connect running water to families without in Pine Ridge.

Please support our Women and Children's Health programs today!

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