Charon Asetoyer (Comanche), a Native American women's health activist, holds a Masters of International Administration and Management. She is the CEO and Founder of the Native American Community Board (1985) and the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center (1988) on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. The Resource Center addresses issues of reproductive justice, violence against women, and environmental justice. In addition to the Resource Center the organization has a shelter for women fleeing from sexual assault and domestic violence.
Ms. Asetoyer was appointed and confirmed by the President of the United States (Clinton Administration) to serve on the National Advisory Council for Health and Human Services (HHS). Ms. Asetoyer is well known as a public and private servant of Indigenous Peoples on both local and national levels.
She served as an advisory committee member for the Center for Constitutional Rights, Women and People of Color (The AIDS Project, NY), and as an Advisory Committee Member for the Center for Women's Policy Studies (Women and AIDS) Project. She served on The National Women's Health Network Board of Directors for eight years. Some of her awards include The Gloria Steinem, "Woman Of Vision Award," by the Ms Foundation, and she received The United Nations Distinguished Services Award as well. In 2001 she received the “Jessie Bernard Wise Women Award” by the Center for Women Policy Studies. In August 2001, she facilitated a working group at the United Nations on “The Current Status of Health of the World’s Indigenous Peoples”, at a meeting convened by the High Commission on Human Rights. Clean water was a focus of this working group. In 2002 she was one of the “Bread and Roses Award Winners” an award honoring Women of Color in the Environmental Justice Movement held during The Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. Charon was one of twelve women honored with the "Bread and Roses" award for her leadership, impact in grassroots organizing, innovation in solving environmental justice problems, and commitment to the principles of environmental justice. Charon was one of the original authors of points 1, 5,10,11,13 and 14 of the “Principles of Environmental Justice” and took a stand to insure the (s) on Peoples and Reproductive Health issues be included in the document. January 2005, selected to be one of the “21st Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s e-news. In March of 2007 she presented on Violence Against Women at a UN workshop during the Commission on the Status of Women.
Charon has written extensively on women's health and reproductive justice issues. Under Charon's direction her organization released the The Indigenous Women's Health Book - Within the Sacred Circle, the first Indigenous women’s reproductive health book. She organized the first Indigenous women's reproductive rights coalition and continues to organize Indigenous women to protect our health and reproductive rights at the National and International level.
Follow Charon on Twitter @charonasetoyer.
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