There’s no doubt that the ongoing health and wellbeing of our planet, even despite the sickly state that it is in currently, can be credited to the work of Indigenous women. Women of indigenous descent have long cared for our environment and the people around them. As leaders, indigenous women have managed to prevail and continue despite the persistent attempts to keep them down and stifle them.

Sadly, these women who should be cherished and honored, face extreme violence and civil rights violations. And yet, they still strive to achieve success and health for their communities despite being overlooked and underrecognized.

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We asked Latinas on FIERCE about Indigenous Sheroes they admire so that we could learn more about them.

Check out the answers below

“Rigoberta Manchu. You?” –eleanor_rigby_86

“Lila Downs!”- gitanagatana

“Shima, my mom, is my Indigenous Shero. She grew up speaking only Navajo and was raised in traditional Navajo home. She Was taken at 8 to boarding school and punished till she learned English. Graduated high school and college. She retired from the state of Oklahoma as a child social worker and worked for a few more years as a sexual abuse advocate. Her and my dad have been married for 47 years, have four successful children and grandchildren. My mom experienced abuse, prejudice, hunger, poverty and fought for the life she wanted. She endured these snd many more hardships with a smile and kind heart. She is still the most loving and forgiving woman I know. She is my constant cheerleader, my best friend, and an example of unconditional love. Her family and home has been her joy. I was blessed that she chose me to be her daughter. My mom blesses my life daily. I would not have the life and adventures of she wasn’t always telling me to “just do it” or “go for it.” Ahe’hehe shima.” –cheebah73005

“Rigoberta Menchu.” –sule_recinos

“La Malinche.” –mdxlvi

“My great grandma Mary.” –brianaya6

“My grandma Natividad, the strongest woman I know.” –sara__tineo

“My grandma Severina.” –_mccbr

“Debra Haaland!” –robyn.degrasse

@rigobertamenchu, an Indigenous feminist and human rights activist in Guatemala who has tirelessly fought for the rights of Guatemala’s Indigenous People during and after our Civil War. She’s an admirable woman.” –nuschb

@raynaespinosa_ she will literally take her shirt off her back to help others. She is always there to fight for everyone’s rights she will do whatever it takes to make her voice heard! I admire her strength and I admire how she is not afraid to show her roots and educate others.” –mitchitymitch

“Gabriella Caźares-Kelly from @indivisibletohono21h.” –

@_cierrraaa a dear friend in law school, whose smile would make my day. Just wanted her to know that I think she is amazing! And I miss her!” –_ashlyndarling

@barb_hartzell You are that badass woman I admire! Miss you and Bunny!”- hildanucete

“Yes @helenknott05 . Strong , activities , poet, and writer.” –her_trademark

“Maestra Grace of @curanderismohealingart.” –elizagboquin

@tiffanyy_rae makes me feel more connected to my roots.” –mayracarrillo3

@guajajarasonia from Brazil.” –la_licorne_en_velours_

@illmaddocks she is an amazing person I met years ago.. who’s always educating about her roots and always representing her tribe..I have so much love for her and admire her dearly.” –gritona

@nikitaelyse you go girl 🙌🏼 you’re not “something else” to us.”  –trustisnotlost

“My maestra and friend @lzch0522 She has taught me so much about our culture and is an advocate for people’s rights. She isn’t afraid to make her voice heard.” –pelagio_c