Today Is Native Women’s Equal Pay Day: #DemandMore Equity for Native Women at Work

Urban Native Era, the Phenomenal Women Campaign and Native Americans in Philanthropy teamed up to bring awareness that on average, Native Women are paid 57% of what white men are paid. They are equally phenomenal women and all deserve equal pay for equal work. (

Support for Native Women’s Equal Pay Day today is spreading like wildfire across social media. Native women and men are wearing their support for pay equity with Phenomenally Indigenous T-shirts, created through a partnership between Urban Native Era, the Phenomenal Woman campaign, and Native Americans in Philanthropy.

September 27 is Native Women’s Equal Pay Day. It represents the fact that, on average, Indigenous women are paid just 57 percent of what white men are paid. Every Phenomenally Indigenous T-shirt sold benefits the Native Voices Rising Fund, which is committed to organizing, advocacy, and civic engagement in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

This website powered by Equal Pay Today & Native Americans in Philanthropy invites everyone to join Native women on social media — Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — today, September 27, at 2:00 pm ET/1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT/11:00 am PT using #NativeWomensEqualPay to #DemandMore #Equity for Native Women at work, in society, and at the ballot box.

Learn more about the causes of the gap and how it threatens the safety and economic security of Native women and families, and how we can close it here. That toolkit also provides suggestions for spreading the word on social media.

Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy, posted on her personal Instagram handle: “You don’t think rape culture is related to pay? Well think again. ✊?Sep. 27 is Indigenous Women’s Equal Pay Day.” (@ms_eagleheart)

Montoya posted on his Instagram @joeymontoya: “For as long as I could remember women have always played an important roll in my life. When I was in elementary school and my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it was my mother who continued to stand strong and work hard to provide for our family. Today, as I continue to travel Native country I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing Native women. …This is why I teamed up with, because today, Sept. 27th, is #NativeWomensEqualpay. On average, Native Women get paid just 57% of what white men are paid. All women are equally phenomenal women and deserve equal pay for equal work. Get this t-shirt and support the Native Voices Rising Fund.” (Read Native Business Magazine‘s interview with Urban Native Era CEO & Creative Director Joey Montoya – a Lipan Apache from Texas who was born and raised in San Francisco – in the article “Urban Native Era and UNExMusic Are Out to Break Stereotypes about Native and Indigenous Peoples.”)

CEO & Creative Director of @urbannativeera (@joeyymontoya)

Also underscoring these dire statistics about Native women’s compensation compared to their male counterparts was the 2018 Native Women Lead Report. It presents a consolidation of data reinforcing the need for continued support to American Indian women entrepreneurs. Among their findings, the report reveals: “In 2016, two-thirds of all American Indian and Alaska Native women in the U.S. were the primary breadwinners in their families.”

“Far too often, the voices of Native American women are left at the edges of already marginalized communities,” said Jaclyn M. Roessel of Native Women Lead. (Read Native Business Magazine‘s article “Jaclyn Roessel Talks Growing her Business: Grownup Navajo.”) “Therefore, our goal was simple: to demonstrate that Native American women are community leaders, CEOs, mothers, wives, elders, and the critical drivers of Indigenous businesses that contribute $11 billion to the economy.”

Below, Native Business Magazine offers an incomplete roundup of this morning’s Instagram posts in support of Native Women’s Equal Pay Day:

Weshoyot Alvitre, comic book artist, illustrator, banjo plucker, wood carver, flea market queen, mother, wife (@weshoyot)

Sunny Red Bear-Whitcombe “Luta” (@sunny_redbear)

Lyla June, Diné and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), an internationally renowned public speaker, poet and musician (Photo @lylajune – Read Native Business Magazine’s article: “International Speaker Lyla June Talks Creating Businesses That Give & Heal.”)

Corinne Oestreich,
Oglala/Mohawk/Swiss/Indo (@misscorinne86)

Leah Rose, AnishinaabeKwe, visionary, artist, muse & photographer: (@leahrosephoto )

Women are standing up to #DemandMore (

Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, “CANKU WASTE WIN | Oglala Lakota” is founder of Natives in America (@nativesinamerica), an online literary space for Native American, Alaskan Native & Native Hawaiian high school, college & post-grad writers. (@mredshirtshaw)

“There are few things as powerful as the sisterhood of Indigenous Women. So when Indigenous women come together to lift one another up, and build upon the strengths of each other we become leaders. Leaders of family, community, tribal nation, colonial governments and colonial business. We may not have wanted the colonial America of today, but we are taking back the power to change it into what can be good for us. Today is #nativewomenequalpay day, and we will be given equal pay for equal work. @urbannativeera @nativegiving #indigenous #nativeamerican #nativewomen” (@misscorinne86)