Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, has been fighting for Native justice for decades.

Fight the Power: 8 Contemporary Heroes and Leaders of Native Resistance

Vincent Schilling
10/22/14

As we have been highlighting Native resistance fighters from the 1500s to the 1800s, it was brought to our attention by many of our readers that we should also highlight contemporary leaders and heroes.

RELATED: Fight the Power: 100 Heroes of Native Resistance, Part 3

Specifically we were told, “resistance fighters are not just living in the past, and we have many resistance fighters living today.” This is a sentiment to which we agree wholeheartedly.

So, here is a list of 8 modern-day resistance fighters who certainly deserve to be recognized.

Suzan Shown Harjo

An advocate for American Indian rights, Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, has worked for decades in the fight for Native justice. Helping in the recovery of more than a million acres in Native lands, fighting for national policy and teams to drop Indian mascots since the 1960s, Harjo has been a true leader of Native resistance and appropriately deserves the first mention.

RELATED: Suzan Shown Harjo’s Statement for UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya

Guest curator Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, at the entrance to the “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and the American Indian Nations” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on September 16, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/AP Images for The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian)

Harjo is also the guest curator and general editor for “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nation,” a 2014 exhibit and book at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

RELATED: Treaty of Canandaigua Arrives at National Museum of the American Indian

Winona LaDuke

A former Green Party vice-presidential candidate alongside Ralph Nader, an internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist, and graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees, Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), is a stoic fighter for Native land and environmental rights. Fighting on such social battlegrounds as GMO awareness, the Keystone XL Pipeline and more, LaDuke deserves well-deserved recognition for her life’s contributions to Indian country.

Winona LaDuke and her sister sit on horseback at the beginning of the Keystone XL Pipeline protest, which took place in Washington, D.C. on April 22, 2014. (Vincent Schilling)

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I recognize many of the people mentioned here. We owe them our respect for all they've done. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. Halbritter is the publishers of this fine website. I also couldn't help but wonder if Mr. Tom Goldtooth is somehow related to Dallas Goldtooth of the 1491s fame.
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