UNC Pembroke’s Native American Speakers Series will feature Winona LaDuke on Thursday, September 19, at 7 p.m. in the Regional Center at COMtech. LaDuke is an internationally acclaimed Indian activist, environmentalist, economist and author, who twice ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket.
A member of the Anshinaabe Tribe, LaDuke is a graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development. She is a founder and co-director of Honor the Earth, a national advocacy group encouraging public support and funding for native environmental groups. With Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development, food systems and environmental justice.
In her northern Minnesota community, LaDuke is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation based non-profit organizations in the country, and a leader on the issues of culturally-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and food systems. In this work, she also works to protect Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.
It will be an interesting speaking engagement and well worth attending, said Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs, chair of the American Indian Studies Department.
“Ms. LaDuke is a very dynamic speaker who links issues of environment, health, sovereignty, economic sustainability and culture,” Dr. Jacobs said. “She will discuss her book ‘Food is Medicine’ in her talk on Thursday night. I think it is a very timely topic for our community.”
Her book, “Food is Medicine: Recovering Traditional Foods to Heal the People” (20014), is a joint publication by Honor the Earth and the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The book reviews issues ranging from Navajo livestock reduction and genetic engineering to the impact of industrialized food production on Native America’s health and ecology.
Among her other titles are: “The Militarization of Indian Country” (2011), “Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming” (2005), The Winona LaDuke Reader: A Collection of Essential Writings,” (2002) “All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life” (1999) and “Last Standing Woman.” (1999).
LaDuke was named Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She won the Global Green Award, the Thomas Merton Award and the International Slow Food Award.
The Native American Speaker Series is sponsored by UNCP’s Office of Academic Affairs. LaDuke’s talk comes during the annual conference of the American Indian Women of Proud Nations. LaDuke will also speak at Wake Forest University. All three organizations are sponsoring her visit to the Carolinas.
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