Indigenous Woman Leader
Kichwa Community of Sarayaku
Nina Gualinga is a young indigenous woman leader from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Since she was 8 years old, she has been actively involved local, national and global advocacy efforts in defense of indigenous rights and territories in the Amazon and for climate justice.
In 2011, she represented Sarayaku youth at the final hearing before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica where Sarayaku won their historic victory against the Ecuadorian government for violating their rights and territory for oil drilling. In 2014, she joined global calls to keep oil in the ground at the People’s Climate March and COP21. In 2015, she joined a large delegation from Sarayaku at COP21 in Paris advocating for the protection of “Living Forests” and in 2016 she joined a historic indigenous women’s march uniting indigenous women of 7 nationalities in defense of rights and territories.
Nina splits her time between Sarayaku and Sweden. She is currently completing an indigenous fellowship at Amazon Watch where she is developing a proposal to start her own organization to support indigenous youth and women in Sarayaku and the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon currently threatened by new oil development. She is 23 years old.