Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist, economist, and author, has devoted her life to advocating for Indigenous control of their homelands, natural resources, and cultural practices. She combines economic and environmental approaches in her efforts to create a thriving and sustainable community for her own White Earth reservation and Indigenous populations across the country. She authored and co-authored numerous books concerning issues facing the Native American community. Her book, Native Struggles for Land and Life, tells of Native resistance to cultural and environmental threats.
LaDuke attended Harvard University where she testified before the United Nations about the exploitation of Indian lands. After Harvard, she helped establish and co-chaired the Indigenous Women’s Network, a coalition of 400 Native women activists and groups dedicated to bolstering the visibility of Native women and empowering them to take active roles in tribal politics and culture. Later, she founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project using funds the Reebok Foundation awarded her for her human rights work.
In 1996 and 2000, LaDuke served as Ralph Nader’s running mate on the Green Party presidential ticket. She has received many honors for advocacy work, including an honorary doctorate from Minnesota’s Augsburg College and the University of California’s Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance in 2017.