Madonna Thunder Hawk: a Matriarch of the Movement

In this first episode of LANDBACK FOR THE PEOPLE, Nick Tilsen sits at the table with matriarch Madonna Thunder Hawk (Oohenumpa Lakota). Madonna jokingly calls herself the Forest Gump of Indigenous resistance, since, over the last 55 years, she’s been at almost every focal point in the fight for Indigenous liberation. Through numerous decades of resistance efforts, from the occupation of Mount Rushmore in 1971 and the takeover of the BIA headquarters in 1972, to the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 and unforgettably Standing Rock in 2016, Madonna exemplifies what it means to be a true Warrior Woman.

Nick and Madonna lay bare how generations of Indigenous people have met across politics and places for the sake of LANDBACK, revealing moments in the movement that were unimaginable. In this conversation, we are reminded of the blood and ancestral memory of our deep connection to land and water, inheriting the movement knowledge and stories of those before us in preparation for a liberated future.

Madonna continues to honor the matriarchs of the Red Power Movement through the Warrior Woman Project, a collaborative of matriarchs, storytellers, and archivists who “bring to light the radical impact of Indigenous women” throughout history. https://www.warriorwomen.org/

Check out this episode!