Blog 4: Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is an American environmentalist, writer, and economist. LaDuke was born in 1959 and grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was a Jewish art professor and her father was an actor as well as an Indigenous activist.  She graduated from Harvard university in 1982 with a degree in Native economic development. After graduating from Harvard, Winona moved to northern Minnesota in a white earth reservation, that was located in a rural part of Minnesota that was known for its residents having low socio-economic status. 

            LaDuke is a program director of Honor the Earth which consists of a group of people that fight for the rights of Native peoples as well as raise money for any financial or political resources. This group is also working globally and locally on the issue of climate change as well as sources of renewable energy. Along with fighting climate change, she is an advocate for Indigenous rights, a strong spokesperson for human rights around the world, supports gender and homosexuality rights among more. 

            Laduke and myself are alike in some ways because she is very determined and has a persevering personality like I do. At the moment Laduke is working on fighting against oil companies located in Minnesota to help mitigate the consequences of climate change. She has told The New York Times how “If the government issues the permit for Line 3 work, then I will be on the ground with my people. And if they don’t, either way she says, I’m going to plant my field.” This shows how persistent she is which is something that I can relate to. She is a very accomplished woman who is able to manage her projects in such a way that a lot of her successes have occurred simultaneously. This is something that I struggle with and is where we differ. She is in a group called Honor the Earth, she is fighting for Indigenous and gender rights not only locally but worldwide as well, she is rebuilding her house that she lost to a fire, all while raising three children. Winona LaDuke can handle many obstacles thrown at her and fight for all the important causes that matter to her which makes her a multi-tasker. I, on the other hand, am the type of person that is more successful in my tasks when there is a smaller number of things to accomplish.

            An important aspect of Winona LaDuke, which influenced me to choose her, was how she is capable of multi-tasking several duties so successfully. I find Winona LaDuke very inspirational because she never gives up on fighting for environmental rights not only for indigenous peoples but for non-native people as well. In my opinion, an inspirational person is someone who motivates people to want to better themselves and make them act in a way that improves their well-being. Winona LaDuke is considered to be an inspirational person because she advocates for causes that are important to her, she does many good deeds, and she fights for those who may not be able to do so for themselves, all of which results in people wanting to be more like her.



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