Winona LaDuke is a rural development economist and author working on issues of Indigenous Economics, Food, and Energy Policy. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth (HtE). She co-founded HtE with the Indigo Girls, as a platform to raise awareness of and money for indigenous struggles for environmental justice. She works nationally and internationally on the issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice alongside Indigenous communities. In her own community, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation-based non-profit organizations in the country. Globally and nationally, Winona is known as a leader in the issues of cultural-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and sustainable food systems. She is one of the leaders in the work of protecting 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 1994, LaDuke was nominated by Time magazine as one of America’s fifty 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 fifteen years, and maintains a significant role in international advocacy for Indigenous people. This has included numerous presentations at United Nations forums.
A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She also attended one year at the Massachussets Institute of Technology in the Community Fellows Program. She has authored six books including: Recovering the Sacred, All our Relations, Last Standing Woman, The Winona LaDuke Chronicles, and her newest work To Be a Water Protector. She is widely recognized for her work on environmental and human rights issues.