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History

In 1985, a group of Native Americans living on or near the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota formed the Native American Community Board (NACB) to address health, education, land and water rights, and economic development issues pertinent to Native American people. In 1986, the Native American Community Board was incorporated under the laws of South Dakota as a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization.

The first NACB project developed was Women and Children in Alcohol, a program focusing on raising awareness of fetal alcohol syndrome. This program defined the direction of the organization's subsequent health work. In February of 1988, the NACB opened the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center, the first resource center located on a reservation in the US.

In October of 1991, after a long legal battle, the Domestic Violence Program of the Resource Center opened a shelter for battered women a few blocks away from the Resource Center. As a modern, spacious, four-bedroom home, the Women's Lodge is able to provide women and their children with a safe place to escape domestic violence and sexual assault.

Over the years the Resource Center has expanded to include many programs that benefit people locally, nationally, and internationally. Some past and current examples are the Domestic Violence Program, AIDS Prevention Program, Youth Services--which include the Child Development Program and the Youth Wellness Program--Adult Learning Program, Environmental Awareness and Action Project, Cancer Prevention, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Program, Clearinghouse of Educational Materials, Food Pantry, Wicozanni Wowapi Newsletter, Diabetic Nutrition Program, Scholarships for Native American Women, Reproductive Health and Rights, "Green Thumb" Project, and Community Health Fairs.


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