In the folklore of the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire predicts that there will come a time when we must choose between two paths. One path will be green and lush. The other will be well worn but scorched, and walking it will cut our feet.
Winona LaDuke—activist, community economist, author, and member of the Ojibwe Nation of the Anishinaabe peoples—says that now is that time. During last year’s Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, LaDuke called for us to make the right choice. In a message to the Water Protectors she said, “We are not just fighting against something, but clearly and decidedly walking with open eyes and hearts down the path that is green.”
For more than twenty-five years Winona LaDuke has been a leading advocate and organizer for Native American groups working to recover their ancestral lands, natural resources, and cultures.
As a young Harvard graduate she moved to her family’s home on the White Earth Reservation in upper Minnesota, where she created a community land trust organization to re-gather traditional lands lost to private ownership. She stands as one of the most important spokespersons for a fair land reform that includes equity in buildings (not in land value) for those using the land. She described this work in her 1993 Schumacher Lecture “Voices From White Earth: Gaa-waabaabiganikaag.”
On Saturday, November 4th, LaDuke will deliver the keynote address at the 37th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, which will take place at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion led by Nwamaka Agbo, a member of Schumacher Center’s board of directors and the Innovation Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, California.
Nwamaka Agbo will moderate a discussion between young people from diverse backgrounds who are doing work to reclaim ownership of community resources in order to build stronger local economies and ecologies—those who have chosen the Green Path. In facilitating the conversation she will bring to bear more than ten years of experience in social and economic justice organizing and economic development.
- $40 tickets include the keynote address and panel discussion (1:00 – 5:00 pm)
- $150 tickets include the afternoon’s event plus an evening reception at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington with a dinner menu featuring indigenous ingredients.
- For questions about tickets contact the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Box Office at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.
- Open between 12pm and 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Box office phone number: 413-528-0100
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About the Speakers:
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibway) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg. She lives and works in northern Minnesota on the White Earth reservation.
She is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, whose mission is to regain the Anishinaabeg people's original lands from federal, state, and county governments. The Recovery Project produces and sells traditional foods and crafts, working to revive cultivation and harvesting of wild rice.
LaDuke is also the executive director of Honor the Earth, a grassroots environmental organization focused on Indigenous issues and environmental justice, which she co-founded in 1993. As program director of the Honor the Earth Fund she is active in advocating, raising public support, and creating funding for Native environmental groups. In 2016 she was involved in supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline water protectors.
She serves as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women's organization, and was a founding member of the community land-rights group Anishinaabe Akeeng and of IKE, a Native women's craft marketing collective. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and ran twice as vice-presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party.
LaDuke’s books include The Militarization of Indian Country (2011); Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming (2005); Winona LaDuke Reader: A Collection of Essential Writings (2002); All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999); and a novel, Last Standing Woman (1997).
She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in rural economic development and received her M.A. in Community Economic Development from Antioch College.
Winona LaDuke is an eloquent presenter of Native American views and a compelling spokesperson on behalf of the suffering of indigenous peoples and their struggle to reclaim their ancestral lands.
Nwamaka Agbo is excited to bring over 10 years of experience in working on social and economic justice issues and campaigns that help support the sustainable and equitable development of thriving and prosperous communities as the Innovation Fellow for the Movement Strategy Center.
As the Director of Programs at EcoDistricts, Nwamaka was responsible for leading Target Cities – a pilot program designed to support 11 innovative neighborhoods in 9 cities across North America in applying the EcoDistricts Global Protocol to help accelerate and achieve their district-scale sustainability goals.
As the Director of Programs at Transform Finance, Nwamaka helped to design and launch the inaugural Transform Finance Institute for Social Justice leaders. The Institute was created to educate and train social justice community leaders about how to best leverage impact investments to deepen their social impact for transformative social change. Nwamaka worked at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights for over six years in a range of positions spanning from Policy Director, to Campaign Director and Deputy Director. During her tenure at the Ella Baker Center, Nwamaka helped to support the launch of the Oakland Green Jobs Corp and later went on to develop the organization’s Oakland-based Soul of the City civic engagement campaign.
She currently serves as an Advisory Board Member to Oakland Rising Action and a Board Member of People’s Grocery. Nwamaka is also honored to support the work of Roots of Success as an Advisory Board Member and Wellstone Action as a Trainer. She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and African American Studies and holds a Master’s of Public Administration specializing in Financial Management from San Francisco State University.