In 2013, Alicia Cawiya, Vice-President of the Huaorani Nation of Ecuador, addressed the country’s Constituent Assembly in Quito denouncing the oil companies and defending her Indigenous brothers and sisters from other groups, and their culture. After her powerful speech, Alicia became an inspiration for Indigenous women and a respected national political figure and Indigenous activist. Later, she wrote to the Permanent Representative for China to the United Nations to protest the violation of Indigenous rights by the Chinese state company Andes Petroleum that resulted from the agreements signed with the Ecuadorian government in 2016. In addition, she helped to organize a Women’s March to demand that Indigenous territories be declared a petroleum-extraction-free zone. Alicia is the founder of the Huaorani Artisanal Women’s Association and she continues to fight for women’s economic empowerment. Photo credit: Elle Enander