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An inspiring documentary about mothers and daughters fighting for indigenous rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s. The story unveils not only a female perspective of history, but also examines the impact political struggles have on the children who bear witness. Famed Indigenous and women’s rights activist Madonna Thunder Hawk and her daughter Marcella are highlighted in this uplifting yet heart-rending tale of indomitable spirit undeterred by age or government apathy.

Q&A with Director/ Producer Elizabeth Castle and activist Madonna Thunder Hawk after the screening moderated by KU School of Public Affairs & Administration Professor Sarah Deer.


Elizabeth Castle, Director

Elizabeth Castle brings almost 20 years of experience as a scholar, activist, and media maker working in collaboration with Native Nations and underrepresented communities. Warrior Women is based on the research done for her book “Women were the Backbone, Men were the Jawbone: Native Women’s Activism in the Red Power Movement.”

While completing her Ph.D. at Cambridge University, she worked as a policy associate for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race. In 2001, she served as a delegate for the Indigenous World Association at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. She received the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Santa Cruz under the supervision of Professors Angela Davis and Bettina Aptheker.



Madonna Thunder Hawk, Activist



Madonna Thunder Hawk, an Oohenumpa Lakota, is a veteran of every modern Native occupation from Alcatraz, to Wounded Knee in 1973, and the NODAPL protest at Standing Rock. Born and raised across the Oceti Sakowin homelands, she first became active in the late 1960s as a member and leader in the American Indian Movement and co-founded Women of All Red Nations and the Black Hills Alliance. In 1974, she established the We Will Remember survival group as an act of cultural reclamation for young Native people pushed out of the public schools.

She currently works as the tribal liaison for the Lakota People’s Law Project in fighting the illegal removal of Native children from tribal nations into the state foster care system. She established the Wasagiya Najin “Grandmothers’ Group” on Cheyenne River Reservation to assist in rebuilding kinship networks and supporting the Nation in its efforts to stop the removal of children from Native families.




September 19, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Lawrence Arts Center
940 New Hampshire St
Lawrence, KS 66044 United States


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