Indigenous Women Have Always Been Leaders

Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy
A Celebration of International Women's Day
March 8, 2019 - 8:30 am CST
- 5:00 pm
Indigenous women have always been the backbone and heartbeat of their families and communities. They channeled their history of leadership into victories at the state and federal levels during the 2018 election, marking a major turning point for their political representation. Indigenous women are poised, now more than ever before, to use their strengths to shape the future of their communities and awaken the nation. This daylong celebration of Indigenous women’s leadership featured speakers, artists, and food.


Featured Speakers

  • Melanie Benjamin, chief executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Rep. Ruth Buffalo, North Dakota House District 27
  • Sharon Day,  Indigenous Peoples Task Force
  • Alexis Davis, Turtle Mountain Youth Council
  • Jayme Davis, Native Governance Center
  • Karen Diver, Faculty Fellow, Inclusive Excellence for Native American Affairs, College of St. Scholastica
  • Peggy Flanagan, Lieutenant governor, Minnesota
  • Jodi Gillette, Indigenous Peoples Initiatives, Wend Ventures
  • Vanessa Goodthunder, Dakota Immersion Early Head Start and Head Start
  • Lourdes Tibán Guala, UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, Ecuador
  • Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, Minnesota House District 41B
  • Brooke LaFloe, Young Women's Initative, YWCA
  • Anne McKeig, associate justice, MN Supreme Court
  • Jaidyn Probst, MN Young Women's Cabinet
  • Prairie Rose Seminole, American Indian, Alaska Native Ministries, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Tina Smith, US senator, Minnesota