Rose Cunningham Kain

Founder and Director, Wangki Tangni

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“When women are able to provide for their families, it also helps them feel more powerful. What we see is that these women now raise their voices in their communities.”

Rose Cunningham stands with an elderly woman on the banks of a river

Rose’s activism:

A Miskito Indigenous leader from the North Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, Rose has spent decades organizing her community through dictatorship, revolution, the Contra War, and corporate assault on her territory.

As the founder of Wangki Tangni, she works to equip Indigenous Peoples with the skills they need to self-govern, build local infrastructure and institutions, protect the region’s biodiversity, and preserve traditional knowledge.

At the international level, Rose has partnered with Indigenous women activists from other Latin American countries and Africa to raise the visibility of the gender-based violence that Indigenous women face, including domestic violence and sex trafficking. She is also part of the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum.

Rose served as an officer for the Organization of American States for 10 years and as the Gender Coordinator for the International Organization of Migration.

In 2018, Rose was elected as the first woman mayor of her home of Waspam.

“In my community in Nicaragua, many people struggle to feed their families. Food is scarce. Harvesting Hope, our local women’s farming collective, helps. We have seed banks that ensure we have food even after a climate disaster, we arrange farmers markets so women can sell their crops, and we train women in organic farming. All these things help women grow food for their families and earn an income."

Wangki Tangni is a community development organization run by and for Indigenous Peoples on Nicaragua’s North Atlantic coast.

Learn more about Wangki Tangni

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