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Myrna Cunningham

Vice President of FILAC

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Myrna Cunningham smiles into the camera, pictured from the shoulders up wearing a red and black patterned shirt.

Myrna Cunningham is a doctor from the indigenous people Miskitu region of Nicaragua. Her professional career is linked to the struggle for the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and, especially, of indigenous women in Nicaragua, America, and the world. 

In the 1980s, she participated in the peace process and the establishment of the autonomy regime for the Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, and ethnic communities of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. In the 1990s, she promoted the foundation of the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast Nicaragua (URACCAN) and was its founding rector between 1994 and 2002. Between 2011 and 2013, she was a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and became president. She was also Secretary General of the Inter-American Indigenous Institute, where she promoted the creation of the Intercultural Indigenous subject at the Intercultural Indigenous University, among other activities. 

In 2020 and 2021, she was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Food Systems Summit, and currently is the first Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC).