While talking about the role of women at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, she said, "When you didn't have a lot of education in India, my mother actually was able to go to a law school. And she was actually put up to be one of the first female judges in India, but because of the situation with women she wasn't allowed to sit on the bench."
But she feels that it must be "amazing for her (mother) to watch her daughter become governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the UN".
Ms Haley's parents, Ajit Singh and Raj Kaur Randhwa, reportedly emigrated from India in the 1960s.
UN Ambassador is a cabinet-level position in the US and Ms Haley is the first Indian-American to reach that position. A Republican, she was the elected Governor of South Carolina state in 2010.
When asked for her take on US President Donald Trump's attempts to temporarily restrict people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees coming to the US, she said, "I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants, who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to be in this country."
But she denied that Mr Trump's attempts to restrict people coming in from the six countries was based on religion and pointed out that several Muslim-majority countries were not covered under it.
"We will never close our doors in the US. But what we did do was take a pause," Ms Haley said.
She added the move is not about not wanting people in, but it is about keeping the terrorists out.
Her husband, Michael Haley, a captain in the Army National Guard who served in Afghanistan, helped two Afghan interpreters and their families immigrate to the US. The difference was that they could be properly vetted, but it was not possible in all refugees cases and the administration was stopping them till the problem could be resolved, she said.
A US court has stayed Mr Trump's orders temporarily banning people from six countries coming to the US.