Native American activist LaDuke to speak on campus


Native American activist Winona LaDuke will speak Nov. 15 as part of Native American Heritage Month.

LaDuke's talk, “Water is Life,” will be held at 7 p.m. in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel. Seating is limited. Her talk is sponsored by the Hanley Library.

LaDuke is a rural development economist who works on issues of economic, food and energy sovereignty.

She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota and leads several organizations, including Honor the Earth, Anishinaabe Agricultural Institute, Akiing: 8th Fire Project, and Winona's Hemp and Heritage Farm. These organizations develop and model cultural-based sustainable development strategies using renewable energy and sustainable food systems.

She is an international thought leader in the areas of climate justice, renewable energy and environmental justice.

She is also a leader in the work of protecting indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.

LaDuke has written six books, including “Recovering the Sacred,” “All our Relations,” “Last Standing Woman,” and her newest work, “The Winona LaDuke Chronicles.”

In 2007, LaDuke was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, recognizing her leadership and commitment to her community. In 1994, Time magazine named her as one of America's 50 most promising leaders under forty years of age. She has been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, Ms.Woman of the Year (with the Indigo Girls) in l997, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which in part she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project.

The White Earth Land Recovery Project has won many awards -- including the prestigious 2003 International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity, recognizing the organization's work to protect wild rice from patenting and genetic engineering. LaDuke was a co-founder, and Board co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network for 15 years, and maintains a significant role in international advocacy for indigenous people. This has included numerous presentations at United Nations forums, and involvement in opposition to projects affecting indigenous communities.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Community Fellows Program.