Woman of the Day – Winona LaDuke

Green Party Women Celebrating Women’s History Month
Day 21: Woman of the Day:  Winona LaDuke

In March 1996, Winona LaDuke was nominated by the American Green Party as their candidate for Vice President of the United States. The nomination made her the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for this position by a major political party in America.

Winona’s historic nomination brought attention to Indigenous representation in American politics. It highlighted important issues often overlooked in mainstream political discourse.

Early years

Born August 18 1959, to a father from the Ojibwe White Earth Reservation in Minnesota and a mother of Jewish European ancestry, Winona was primarily raised in Ashland, Oregon. Because of her father’s heritage, she was enrolled at birth with the White Earth Nation, but did not live there or at any other reservation until 1982.

Before moving to White Earth Nation, Winona attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in rural economic development. Whilst at Harvard, Winona’s interest in Indigenous issues grew. She spent a summer working on a campaign to stop uranium mining on Navajo land in Nevada. She also testified before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland about the exploitation of Indian lands.


Throughout her career as an activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer, Winona has been a fierce advocate for Indigenous sovereignty and environmental conservation. She co-founded the Indigenous Women’s Network in 1985, a grassroots organisation dedicated to empowering Indigenous women to take active roles in tribal politics and culture and addressing issues such as reproductive rights and environmental protection.

One of Winona’s most prominent roles has been as the Executive Director of Honor the Earth. She co-founded the environmental organisation in 1993 with the mission of protecting sacred sites, preserving traditional ways of life, and advocating for renewable energy solutions. Through Honor the Earth, she has been at the forefront of campaigns against environmentally destructive projects such as oil pipelines and mining operations on Indigenous lands.

Winona LaDuke at podium attending 2024 Tribal Clean Energy Summit


In addition to her activism, Winona is also a prolific writer and public speaker. She has authored several books, including “All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life” and “The Winona LaDuke Chronicles: Stories from the Front Lines in the Battle for Environmental Justice”. Her writing reflects her deep commitment to Indigenous rights and environmentalism, offering powerful insights into the intersection of culture, politics, and ecology.

Winona’s dedication to Indigenous rights and environmental justice has earned her widespread recognition and numerous awards. These include the Reebok Human Rights Award and the International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity. She continues to be a leading voice in the fight for social and environmental justice, inspiring countless individuals to join her in building a more just and sustainable world.





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