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Winona LaDuke coming to Portland State in October

On October 22—National Campus Sustainability Day—Winona LaDuke will speak at Portland State. While LaDuke has certified rock star status in some communities, others might ask: “Who is Winona LaDuke?” 

LaDuke is a member of the Mississippi Band of the White Earth Reservation of the Anishinaabe Nation. She is an activist, economist, environmentalist, two-time vice presidential candidate, and author of numerous articles and books (see below for a partial list). She ran in the 1996 and 2000 national elections on the Green Party ticket headed by Ralph Nader. LaDuke’s works are widely read in Native Studies, Women’s Studies, and Environmental Studies programs across the nation.

Among other impressive endeavors, LaDuke is currently the executive director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, which she founded in 1989 to work toward recovering land for the Anishinaabe people. She also founded and directs the Honor the Earth Foundation, which focuses on restoring sacred and first foods to educate and empower Indigenous people and develop strategies for the protection of our environment.

She is often called upon to discuss traditional Native methods of food production and sustainable land management, as well as her experiences bringing those skills back to the White Earth Reservation. LaDuke has been dedicated to social justice issues for many decades. She is widely recognized as a preeminent activist hero educating the nation about Indigenous and environmental issues and attempting to persuade the U.S. government to take responsibility for the pollution of reservation lands.

The PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions is working in conjunction with the Native American Student & Community Center and the Indigenous Nations Studies Department to develop a series of learning opportunities during LaDuke’s visit. With her assistance, we hope to develop better strategies for safeguarding our Earth and mitigating climate change. 

LaDuke’s visit will be part of Portland State of Mind, a festival of events that engage our campus and community, and will also mark the beginning of the student-organized Social Sustainability Month, a four-week series of presentations focusing on social justice issues. 

We are honored and excited to have Winona LaDuke joining us this year. Don’t miss her talk on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the PSU Smith Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

In the meantime, if you’d like to read up, here’s a list of books by Winona LaDuke:

  • Last Standing Woman (1997), a novel.
  • All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999), about the drive to reclaim tribal land for ownership.
  • The Winona LaDuke Reader: A Collection of Essential Writings (2002).
  • Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), a book about traditional beliefs and practices.
  • The Militarization of Indian Country (2013). Forward by Cornel Pewewardy, Director of Indigenous Nations Studies at PSU.


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