Madonna Thunder Hawk is the Director of Grassroots Organizing for the Red Road Institute and the Indigenous Peoples Movement. As a prominent Indigenous civil rights activist and a key figure in the American Indian Movement (AIM), Unci Madonna has significantly contributed to the advocacy and empowerment of Indigenous communities.
She was a pivotal participant in the Red Power Movement, participating in the Occupation of Alcatraz and Mount Rushmore occupations to highlight the need for Indian self-determination and respect for treaties.
Her involvement in AIM, particularly during the Wounded Knee occupation, exemplifies her dedication to indigenous rights.
With the Red Road Institute and Indigenous Peoples Movement, the bulk of her work is leading the Wasagiya Najin, or “Grandmothers’ Group,” on the Cheyenne River Reservation.
This group aims to prevent the unlawful removal of children from tribal nations, rebuild kinship networks, and advocate for the welfare of indigenous children. She has worked to create supportive environments for Native foster families and combat legal injustices faced by Indigenous families.
Thunder Hawk’s comprehensive approach to activism encompasses legal advocacy, community building, and preserving indigenous family systems, making her a vital and enduring voice in the struggle for Native American rights and sovereignty.