Menstrual products for Muskrat Dam First Nation

Rebecca Bourdon and Brooklyn Ranta, two medical students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University (NOSMU), and the Local Officers of Sexual and Reproductive Health for Sudbury and Thunder Bay, respectively, are hoping to raise monetary funds to purchase reusable, eco-friendly menstrual pads for a northern Indigenous community. This year, the products will be flown to support the community of Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation, 1800 km NW of Sudbury and 900 km N of Thunder Bay. The community is only accessible by air. Approximately 280 people live on this land, 120 of which are less than age 50 and have a uterus. The goal is to raise at least $5100 to cover the cost of 120 menstrual kits and associated shipping costs. Each menstrual kit will contain five reusable pads (by Canadian-made pad companies) and tampons.

Currently, in Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation, there are zero tampon products sold on their store shelf. When they do infrequently arrive, there is a very limited quantity, there is no choice of absorbancy, and they are costly - 6x the cost of urban areas. There are very limited quantities of pads at their store, and they are triple the cost of those sold in urban areas. Please help the 120 people of reproductive age who need access to menstrual products, and thank you for donating to support this student-led menstrual product drive to support Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation.

Access to menstrual products is essential to upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada. In October 2022, the Government of Canada announced it would provide free menstrual products to workers in federally-regulated industries. The year prior, the Ontario Government launched a 3-year partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart to distribute free menstrual products to Ontario school boards. These initiatives were created to address period poverty, the costly financial barrier to accessing menstrual products, and the resulting inequities. When a person menstruating cannot afford tampons, pads, or menstrual cups, it prevents them from fully participating in activities, including work and school. Unfortunately, this inequality gap widens for menstruators in rural and remote Indigenous communities as the cost of menstrual products is significantly higher, and the products are limited in quantity. Furthermore, the plan by the Ontario Government regrettably did not extend to federally-run Indigenous school boards.

If you cannot provide a monetary donation, but have menstrual products you would like to donate instead, please contact us as we would be happy to accept these to add to our kits.
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Rebecca Bourdon
Sudbury, ON

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