Winona LaDuke

Born:August 18, 1959 (age 64)
Career:Executive director, Honor the Earth, 1993-present
Executive director, White Earth Land Recovery Project, 1989-2014
High school principal
Education:B.A., Harvard University
M.A., Antioch University

Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, politician and writer, is the executive director of Honor the Earth, an organization she co-founded in 1993, and was the founder and executive director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project until 2014. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president of the United States as the nominee of the Green Party with Ralph Nader.

LaDuke was born on August 18, 1959, in Los Angeles, California. Her father, an activist and actor, was an Ojibwe from White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. LaDuke was enrolled as a member of the Mississippi Band of the Anishinaabeg but was raised by her mother, who was of Russian Jewish descent, in Los Angeles and Oregon. After graduating from Harvard University in 1982 with a degree in rural economic development, LaDuke moved to White Earth and worked as principal of the high school while doing research for her master's thesis. She completed a Master of Arts in community economic development at Antioch University.

During this time, LaDuke also became involved in an lawsuit to recover lands promised to the Anishinaabeg people by an 1867 federal treaty. In 1985, after the lawsuit was dismissed, LaDuke founded the Indigenous Women's Network. In 1989, she founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project, whose goal is to buy back land within the reservation that had been bought by non-Natives and to create enterprises that provide work to Anishinaabe.

In 1996 and 2000, LaDuke ran as the vice-presidential candidate with Ralph Nader on the Green Party ticket.

LaDuke has written six books and co-written several others. She appeared in the 1997 documentary film "Anthem," directed by Shainee Gabel and Kristin Hahn. She also appeared in the 2002 TV documentary "The Main Stream."


National Women's Hall of Fame (n.d.). Winona LaDuke. Retrieved on Feb. 24, 2020, from

The Heroine's Collective (n.d.). Biography: Winona LaDuke – Environmentalist, economist. Retrieved on Feb. 24, 2020, from