Winona LaDuke

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1988 Reebok Human Rights Award winner
1997 Ms. Magazine woman of the year

Winona LaDuke (born 1959) is a Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president as the nominee of the United States Green Party, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. In the 2004 election, however, she endorsed one of Nader's opponents, Democratic candidate John Kerry.[1] In the 2008 presidential election, LaDuke endorsed Democrat Barack Obama.[2]

She is currently the Executive Director of both Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project.

Contents

Biography

LaDuke was born in Los Angeles, California to Vincent and Betty LaDuke. Her father was part Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or "Chippewa") from Minnesota. He was an actor with supporting roles in Western movies, an activist, a writer, and at the end of his life, a spiritual guru under the name Sun Bear.[3] Her mother was a Jewish artist, employed as an art professor at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.

LaDuke was raised in Ashland, Oregon,[4] but after graduating from Harvard in 1982 with a degree in rural economic development, she accepted a job as principal of the high school on the Anishinaabe White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota. She then graduated with an M.A. in Community Economic Development from Antioch University. She soon became an activist, involved in the struggle to recover lands promised to the Anishinaabe by an 1867 treaty. She helped the Anishinaabe buy back thousands of acres of ancestral land.[citation needed]

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