Indigenous activist and artist Lily Painter have become a powerful voice within her community, advocating for the rights of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S+).
Drawing strength from her Kiowa and Winnebago heritage, Painter emphasizes the importance of cultural roots and the resilience of Indigenous people in the face of adversity.
“No one can speak to our problems as we can, but more so, no one can speak to our strength, resilience, and healing as we can,” says Lily Painter.
As a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and an enrolled citizen of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, she is deeply connected to her culture and its teachings.
“So much of what I do, how I think, my relationships with people, the Earth, and everything in it is rooted by the teachings of my culture,” she explains.
This connection to her heritage informs her work as an advocate for Indigenous rights and as an artist.
Lily Painter’s mission extends beyond her generation.
She works tirelessly to build a foundation for the seven generations that will follow her, ensuring they have the knowledge and representation necessary to understand the power of their cultural heritage.
“Ultimately, my work is about laying the foundations for the seven generations who will come after me. It is about stepping into spaces to ensure they have the knowledge and representation that who and where they come from is powerful,” she says.
At the heart of Lily Painter’s work is her passion for human rights, particularly for the Indigenous community.
Her advocacy for MMIWG2S+ is about raising awareness and providing support and healing for those affected by this tragic epidemic.
To help facilitate this healing, Painter created the digital collective Matriarch Medicine, which she describes as “an outpouring of love and a mechanism for collective healing for those affected by this epidemic, allowing us to move forward and continue fighting for justice.”
Through her activism, art, and the Matriarch Medicine collective, Lily Painter is making a significant impact on the lives of Indigenous people, promoting healing, justice, and a stronger sense of identity for future generations.