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Advocate for Social Change Is Honored

March 15, 2001

Charon Asetoyer was presented with the 2001 Wise Women Award in Washington D.C. on March 15, 2001, by The Center for Women Policy Studies. Charon, along with three other recipients were honored for their achievements in promoting social change for women.


In 1988, Ms. Asetoyer established the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center; the first of its kind to be established on a reservation. The organization is dedicated to improving the health and social conditions of Indian women and their families on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. The staff works on such issues as Cultural Preservation and greater Dakota Language Use, Violence Against Women, Reproductive Health, and Environmental Rights.

Charon has played an influential role in promoting awareness and change for indigenous women. She has dedicated her time and energy to several committees and projects. Through the years, she has been a part of the National Minority AIDS Council in Washington D. C., Women and People of Color (The AIDS Project), the Center for Women's Policy Studies (Women and AIDS Project), and an advisory committee member for the Center for Constitutional Rights. Serving on the board of directors for the National Women's Health Network was another eight-year commitment.

Along with the Wise Women Award, she has earned the Gloria Steinem "Woman of Vision Award" and the United Nations Distinguished Services Award. Ms. Asetoyer graduated from SIT with a master's in international administration and management. She received her B.A. in criminal justice from University of South Dakota, Vermilion.

As a prominent speaker, writer, and advocate for Native American women, she acknowledges the significance of receiving the Wise Women Award. "This award could not be given without the support and hard work of the Center's staff. It mirrors the organization in its entirety and recognizes its commitment to the community and to social change."

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