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What role did Warrior Women play in the Wounded Knee Occupation, and the American Indian Movement (AIM)? This February 2023, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation, Laura speaks with two Indigenous women activists, a mother-daughter duo, who have been involved in the Red Power movement their entire lives. Madonna Thunder Hawk, Oohenumpa Lakota and Lakota Matriarch, Marcella (Marcy) Gilbert, Lakota/Dakota/Nakota, with Elizabeth Castle, co-director of the documentary Warrior Women, have co-organized the Warrior Women Project, an oral history archive that’s the first of its kind. Hear how the project, and an interactive exhibit set to open this month, are finally putting a spotlight on Indigenous women at the frontlines of the movement.

“What the Warrior Women Project is doing is keeping that empowerment moving forward, and offering it to others. It teaches our reality of who we are within the United States, so that we don’t disappear, so that we don’t melt into the melting pot.” – Marcy Gilbert, Lakota/Dakota/Nakota
“The connections in the Red Power Movement days are the same today. It’s all about land. Indigenous land struggles all over the planet, wherever colonization happened and is happening, has always been a land struggle. Whether it’s in Northern Ireland, or here in our territory, the Dakota, Lakota territory, or Palestine, it’s an Indigenous struggle, and it always starts with the land.” – Madonna Thunder Hawk, Oohenumpa Lakota and Lakota Matriarch


  • Madonna Thunder Hawk (Oohenumpa Lakota): Lakota Matriarch; Co-Organizer, Warrior Women Project 
  • Marcella Gilbert (Lakota/Dakota/Nakota): Lifelong AIM Member; Co-Organizer, Warrior Women Project

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode “Warrior Women & Wounded Knee at 50: Madonna Thunder Hawk & Marcella Gilbert“.

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