"Strong Women/Strong Nations: Native American Women & Leadership" is a day-long symposium examining the complex identities of Native women through lively, insightful discussions by elected tribal leaders, activists, artists, and business leaders about the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities confronting women today. This segment features a panel entitled, "Trail Blazers and Sovereignty Protectors." The Cheyenne Nation received this instruction a long time ago: The Nation shall be strong so long as the hearts of the women are not on the ground. Focusing on the ways Native women have made Native nations strong, the panel will discuss the trails blazed and movements led by the participants and others—and what made these accomplishments important for Native nations, women, and rights. The panel is moderated by Moderated by Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee), President, The Morning Star Institute. The presenters include Patsy Phillips (Cherokee), Director, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts; Lois J. Risling (Hupa/Yurok/Karuk), Educator and Medicine Woman; and Mary Hudetz (Crow), Associated Press journalist. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee) is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator, and policy advocate who has helped Native Peoples protect sacred places and recover more than one million acres of land. She has developed key laws in five decades to promote and protect Native nations, sovereignty, children, arts, cultures, lands, languages, religious freedom, repatriation, sacred places, and water. President of The Morning Star Institute and an award-winning Columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network, she is Guest Curator and Editor for the National Museum of the American Indian’s exhibition (NMAI Museum on the Mall, 2014-2018) and book, both titled, Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations. In 2014, Harjo was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor. Patsy Phillips is the Director of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) based in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2008 to present). Before joining MoCNA, Phillips worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (2000 to 2008) and Atlatl, Inc., a national service organization for Native Arts (1996 to 2000). Phillips holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University, a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Harvard University, and a BA in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Lois Jane Risling is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, affiliated with the Karuk Tribe and the Yurok Tribe. Risling resides on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Hoopa, California. She is married to Steve J. Baldy, a Hoopa Tribal member and has four children. Currently, Risling works for the Hoopa Valley Tribe in the Hoopa Land Management–Tribal Realty Department. She has taught courses in education, Native American history and studies, social science, American history, and grantsmanship at various institutions of higher education. Mary Hudetz, an Associated Press (AP) journalist, is a member of the Crow Tribe and an immediate past president of the Native American Journalists Association. She is also the former editor of Native Peoples Magazine, where she elevated the publication’s focus on Native American youth, the environment, and tribal language preservation, while continuing its culture and arts coverage. Hudetz has produced breaking news and feature stories for the AP on unemployment, homelessness, and politics from Denver, Portland, and now Albuquerque, where she focuses on law enforcement and criminal justice reform. She also has written for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Washington Post, and Al Jazeera America. The symposium was webcast and recorded at the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian on March 18, 2016.