7 Indigenous Activists To Follow if You Want To Make the World a Better Place
Aug. 9 marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, a time when we celebrate the cultural contributions of Indigenous Americans and their unique traditions and practices. It goes without saying that the history of the United States has been marked by what can only be described as the genocide of Native American peoples. To date, Indigenous American communities struggle with poverty, addiction and mental illness — all byproducts of colonization.
Activism has long been an integral part of Native American cultures. Today, there are numerous Indigenous activists who are advocating for causes close to their hearts — whether that is civil rights, climate justice or confronting the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of Indigenous activists to follow closely who can help further educate the public on these matters.
You may know 20-year-old Quannah Chasinghorse as a fashion model, but before she was turning heads at the Met Gala, she was a fierce environmental activist. Quannah Chasinghorse is a fourth-generation land protector in her hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska.
The 31-year-old Nataanii Means is an Oglala Sioux and Navajo hip-hop artist and activist who uses his platform to bring awareness to Indigenous issues. He rose to prominence in 2016, being on the frontline of the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict.
At 20, Cowlitz Tribe member Rosalie Fish isn’t just a champion track and field athlete at the University of Washington — she’s also an activist. Growing up on the Muckleshoot Reservation, Fish became intimately familiar with the plight of MMIW when her aunt went missing when she was 2-years-old. Now, Fish competes with the signature red paint handprint over her face that is used to bring attention to the MMIW epidemic.
20-year-old, Mexican-born climate activist Xiye Bastida is a member of the Otomi-Toltec tribe. Her claim to fame is being one of the primary organizers of the New York branch of the “Fridays for Future” walk-out movement for students.
James Jones, alias “Notoriouscree” is a Tallcree First Nation activist, educator and influencer from Alberta, Canada. With 3.3 million followers on TikTok, he uses his massive platform to educate his audience on topics like colonization, MMIW and the horrific history of residential schools.
Sumak Helena Gualinga
Sumak Helena Gualinga, 20, grew up in the Sarayaku Indigenous community deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Gualinga became deeply involved in environmental activism when she saw how extractive industries were destroying Indigenous lands like hers. Now, she is a leading voice condemning big oil for their destruction of native lands.
The 21-year-old activist Anthony Tamez-Pochel is First Nations Cree and Sicangu Lakota. Highly involved in the Chicago community, Tamez-Pochel co-founded both the Chi-Nations Youth Council as well as First Nations Garden. He uses his platform to spotlight other Indigenous activists.
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