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10 Canadian Indigenous Women To Watch

Representation matters! Here are just a few of many indigenous women to inspire us all.

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1. Ashley Callingbull

Amanda Diaz / Via

There are too many amazing things to say about our favourite actress, Ashley Callingbull! Ashley is not only the first Indigenous Woman to win the title of Mrs. Universe, but also the first Canadian Woman to win the title. In her spare time you can find Ashley advocating against domestic violence and participating in The Amazing Race Canada. Ashley represents not only Canada on the world stage, but her community, Enoch Cree Nation.

2. Marion Buller

CBC News / Via

Marion Buller is the first Indigenous Woman in British Columbia to be appointed as a judge. Not only is she important to Indigenous women because she is inspiring, but because she is chief commissioner the inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. We are certain that the work of Marion Buller will change lives one day!

3. Sunshine Quem Tenasco

Sunshine Quem Tenasco / Via

Sunshine is the Founder of Her Braids, an organization that strives to sell their beadwork to fundraise for the community of Kitigan Zibi which has been without drinking water for 15 years. Her Braids is very active in their social media work and does workshops to share indigenous culture and educate others on the water crisis. Thank you for your philanthropic work Sunshine, it will go a long way!

4. Dr. Kona Williams

The Star / Via

Dr. Williams is Canada's first Indigenous forensic pathologist. She one day hopes to be a liaison between the forensic community and Indigenous communities. In her free time Kona enjoys running as well as mentoring future aboriginal physicians hoping to go into many different medical fields.

5. Devon Fiddler

Lisa Landrie / Via

Devon is the Founder of "SheNative" a woman's accessories and handbags store that hopes to empower Indigenous women all over Canada. The university educated Devon has won several awards including the 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the 2015 Start-up Canada Young Entrepreneur of the year award. Way to go Devon!

6. Jessie Nault

The University of Ottawa / Via

Jessie is the first person in her family to have attended University, and she took this a step further by also continuing on to post-graduate studies! Aside from being a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa medical school, Jessie also does research in cervical cancer and hopes to launch a vaccine program to aboriginal communities all across North America. Jessie is an inspiration to many, and uOttawa students can see her on billboards around campus.

7. Naomi Sayers

Black Coffee Poet / Via

Naomi "Kwe" is an outspoken Law student currently studying at the University of Ottawa. Naomi has published over 17 papers often on heavy topics such as sex trafficking and anti-terrorism. Because of her work, Naomi has been interviewed by VICE and has been featured in #AskAFeminist. Naomi has also has spoken on 40 panels and still makes time to talk about issues that are important to her on her blog.

8. Tishynah Buffalo

CBC News, Edmonton / Via

Tishynah is a fashion designer from Alberta who's fashion designs have been featured in London Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week in New York City and dozens of fashion shows throughout Canada. Her designs are most known for being a mixture different modern and traditional styles, and she makes sure to incorporate her culture in all her pieces.

9. Zondra (Zoey) Pricelys Roy

Sweetmoon Photography / Via

The ever fantastic and well-rounded Zondra (Zoey) is definitely someone we cannot keep up with. From her spoken word poetry to her work as an educator, it is an understatement to say that this girl has a bright future. She also takes time out of her busy schedule to give back to her community and has been even recognized by the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee for her work. How does she do it?!

10. Maatalii Okalik

Jessica Finn/Canadian Geographic / Via

Maatalli is the president of the National Inuit Youth Council and represents Inuit Youth in Canada. She also made her voice heard at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris in 2015. She focuses on issues such as reconciliation, voting rights and revitalizing Inuit language. Maatalii has won the Outstanding Young Woman Award in 2016 and the 2017 Indspire award. Make sure to watch Maatalii in the 2017 "Indspire" awards this year!

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