About the Director
ENVIRONMENTALIST – POLITICAL ACTIVIST – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe woman) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservation. She is a graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities and is the mother of three children. As an internationally renowned activist, she is working on issues of sustainable development renewable energy and food systems.
She is also the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups. She works nationally on the issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice with Indigenous communities.
In her own community, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation based nonprofit organizations in the country, and a leader in the issues of culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and food systems. 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. In this work, she also continues national and international work to protect Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.
In 2007, LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, recognizing her leadership and community commitment. In 1998, Ms. Magazine named her Woman of the Year for her work with Honor the Earth. She received 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. She has also received the BIHA Community Service Award in 1997, the Ann Bancroft Award for Women’s Leadership Fellowship. In 1994, LaDuke was nominated by Time magazine as one of America’s fifty most promising leaders “less than forty years of age”.
She was twice a vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and is presently an advisory board member for the Trust for Public Lands Native Lands Program as well as a board member of the Christensen Fund.
She serves, as co-chair of the Indigenous Women’s Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women’s organization.
Winona’s editorials and essays have also been published numerous times in national and international journals and newspapers.
She has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Author of now six books, including The Militarization of Indian Country (2011), Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), the non-fiction book All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999), and a novel – Last Standing Woman (1997).