Environmental, women’s activist to address school

By Derek Schlom

A Native American activist for the rights of the environment, women and Native Americans who ran as the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate will share her experiences at the Women’s History Month assembly March 16.

Winona LaDuke was Ralph Nader’s running mate in 1996 and 2000.

“She clearly has made history as a deeply committed woman,” English and Gender Studies teacher Martha Wheelock, who organized the annual assembly, said.

“We have never hosted a Native American and I think it is about time,” Wheelock said. “As women, especially in the Native American communities, we are very close to the earth and often identify with the earth. She comes at a time on our campus where we are gaining green awareness for our school. She has addressed the issue of green jobs and ‘loving our mother Earth.’” 

After graduating from Harvard University in 1982 with a degree in rural economic development, LaDuke earned a master’s in community economic development from Antioch University.

LaDuke was named Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1997, won the Reebok Human Rights Award in 1998 for her efforts to publicize the forced sterilization of Native American women and was inducted to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

She currently serves as executive director of Honor the Earth, which fights to oppose the slaughter of the Yellowstone buffalo herd and to support grassroots native buffalo restoration projects.

LaDuke is also the executive director of the White Earth Land Group, an organization,which works to facilitate the recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation in Callaway, Minn.

LaDuke has written a novel, “Last Standing Woman,” and two non-fiction books about Native American life, “All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life” and “Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming.”