Inspirational Women: Winona LaDuke

“What we all need to do is find the wellspring that keeps us going, that gives us the strength and patience to keep up this struggle for a long time.”

Who is Winona LaDuke

Winona is a Native American environmentalist, Harvard economics graduate, and writer.

As executive director of the non-profit organisation Honor the Earth, Winona campaigns to protect the rights of Indigenous communities and protect their land. Most famously, the organisation takes part in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Furthermore, Winona has written extensively on environmental issues, particularly those faced by native American’s and has published five books.

In 2016, she became the first Native American woman to receive an electoral vote for Vice President of the United States.

How has she made a difference?

When Winona first became an activist, she worked to raise awareness about the forced sterilisation of Native American women. She then got involved with protecting treaties and lands, which were being taken over and sold to non-natives. This led to her winning the Reebok Human Rights Award in 1988.

Winona then used her prize money to fund the White Earth Land Recovery Project which works to buy back and reforest the lands, and reintroduce native farming methods and renewable energy sourcing. This work received the Slow Food Award for improving biodiversity.

Winona was nominated by Time Magazine as one of America’s fifty most promising leaders, among many other honours.

Why does she inspire team LITTLE BUD?

We are inspired by Winona’s dedication to protecting and promoting the voice of Native American’s. By using her prize money to fund further projects, among other efforts, she is building an impressive legacy and impactful movement.